Indiana will remain in phase 4.5 of its reopening plan for several more weeks, the state's governor announced Wednesday, further delaying a plan to fully reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Citing a "persistent high positivity rate ticking up," Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state will continue its current reopening phase through at least Aug. 27, maintaining restrictions on crowd sizes for restaurants, bars and public events, which were scheduled to expire Saturday.
The announcement comes as another of Indiana’s largest school districts announced it planned to not have students return to classrooms until October as school leaders struggle with reopening decisions.
A statewide face mask mandate went into effect Monday as health officials have raised worries about Indiana’s number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Indianapolis Public Schools officials said Wednesday they planned to conduct all classes online until at least October. They said that “will allow more time for the number of COVID-19 cases in Marion County to stabilize and decrease to a less dangerous level.”
Several other school districts around the state have also decided to begin the academic year online
State health officials added eight more COVID-19 fatalities to the state’s death toll, raising that to 2,932 since mid-March. Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown by about 50% since late June, while the seven-day average of newly recorded coronavirus infections has more than doubled during that time to about 800 cases.