Coronavirus Indiana

Indiana Business Owners React to Decision Not to Move Into Phase Five of Reopening Plan

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After Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that the state would not be moving forward into Phase Five of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan this weekend, business owners are taking the news in stride.

The decision comes as the state was set to allow festivals and other large events under its reopening plan. Instead, the state is moving into what Holcomb’s administration is calling “Phase 4.5,” and business owners say that they understand the decision, and hope that pressing the pause button will help the state avoid the surge in coronavirus cases that have occurred in other parts of the country.

“I think it’s the right time to slow it down a little bit (and) take the precautions you need so everyone can be safe,” Joel Bender, owner of the game store Mind Benders, said. “It’s just the right thing to do right now.”

Bars, restaurants, pools, movie theaters and other businesses will be allowed to stay open under the capacity guidelines that they have been operating under, and while many had hoped to move fully into Phase Five this weekend, they understand the caution being exercised by officials.

“You can’t say it’s a bad decision,” Jason Miller, owner of Standard Taproom, said. “You won’t know until next week or the week after if it was a great decision or one that really made any difference.”

While other states, including Arizona, California and Florida, are seeing surges in cases, Indiana has remained mostly steady in the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths, with some areas, including counties in the northwestern corners of the state, seeing slight upticks.

Waitress Rebecca Serafin is matter of fact about the pause on reopening.

“It isn’t what we want anymore, but it is what we have to do,” she said.

Indiana will remain in the so-called “Phase 4.5” through at least July 17, according to Holcomb.

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