UPDATED Sept. 23 at 5 p.m.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday he’s lifting almost all of Indiana’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The state will move to its final reopening phase on Saturday, with one big caveat – the statewide mask-wearing order will remain in effect.
Holcomb said Indiana’s COVID-19 numbers are trending in the right direction. But he still urged businesses, bars, restaurants and individuals to exercise caution, even as he lifts capacity limits.
“Physical distance between us, if we’re around other folks we’ve got our mask on, we have different schedules – really creative measures being implemented right now all over the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said.
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There are still a few limitations. Bar customers must be seated and both bars and restaurants must enforce social distancing. And events with more than 500 people must get approval from the local health department.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers sharply criticized Holcomb's decision, which he called "simply wrong." In a statement, the former state health commissioner said Indiana needs "more vigilance, not less."
"Listening to the governor’s press conference today, you’d never know that Hoosiers are still dying from COVID-19, are experiencing economic collapse, calling 211 for help with rent, utilities and food assistance and that Black and Latinx families are two times more likely than white households to have fallen behind on housing payments," Myers said in a statement.
The final reopening phase and the extended mask-wearing order run through at least mid-October.
This story has been updated with a statement from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers.