Indiana Heads Into Final Stage of Re-opening Plan

Stage 5 of Indiana's "Back on Track" re-opening plan goes into effect Saturday, and while some businesses are eager for the lift on restrictions, concern over COVID-19 still lingers for others.

Posted: Sep 25, 2020 9:57 PM

Nearly three months after suspending the state's reopening plan, Indiana will move into its final phase Saturday, and after continued months of restrictions, local business are finally ready to get back on track.

The state will enter Stage 5 of Governor Eric Holcomb's plan to reopen the state since the COVID-19 shut down back in March.

This final phase will lift size limitations on gatherings, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms and more.

"Now we can actually have a larger class which is going to be really beneficial," said Ryan Woodburn, general manager at 517 Fitness in Evansville's East Side.

He's looking forward to this final stage and thinks it's the right time for the community.

"I think people are starting to feel a little bit more comfortable and as it's lifted they feel a little bit more safe about it, so I think it's going to help us even more," he said.

Governor Holcomb said improvements to the state's overall positivity rate led to the decision to move to this last stage, but while businesses can now operate at full capacity, face masks and social distancing will still be required.

Though some are glad to welcome in more customers, others are still keeping their doors closed.

"My wife and I, we have been working for 50 years, we have been open and we are in a high-risk group," owner of Shing-Lee Chinese Restaurant Frankie Jung said. "And if I open the door for the people to come, I think we cannot handle the dining room, we will lose control."

His take out sales have been strong enough to keep business afloat so he won't fully reopen until he's positive it's safe to do so, he said.

"We want to wait to see when the first vaccine comes in and then we might consider," Jung said

Stage 5 will run through October 17, while the statewide face mask order remains in place indefinitely.

Governor Holcomb said the state will re-evaluate and decide in three weeks whether to make any changes to the state's reopening plan. 

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