INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — On Thursday, Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Marion County Health Department announced local restrictions on all non-essential gathering of people larger than 250 people. It will be in effect for 30 days.
All public school systems in the county will be closed beginning Monday along with city-sponsored charter schools.
The closure will coincide with spring breaks and the schools will stay closed until April 5.
“I want to be clear that these restrictions will have serious impacts on commerce, social events, and functions planned long in advance or held every year,” added Mayor Hogsett. “To those who argue these policies will be disruptive, my answer is simple: they better be. This virus and the threat it poses to our city, state, and country is massive. Left unchecked, it has the potential to wreak untold damage on our families and the very social safety net that protects our most vulnerable residents.”
IPS announced its closure will begin Friday, March 13.
The city's announcement also included the following updates:
- City-County Government will work with service providers and school districts to help ensure that meals continue to be available throughout this school closure period.
- After conversations with the Marion County courts, Mayor Hogsett has directed IMPD to issue summonses in lieu of outright arrests for non-violent misdemeanors, subject to officer discretion if they believe an arrest is the only appropriate avenue to protect public safety.
- City-County Government will begin implementing operational changes designed to protect employees and the public while maintaining basic service. These changes include a ban on non-essential travel by city employees, the transition to work-from-home for employees able to take advantage of city technology, and a push for residents to use online services when possible.
- The Parks Department has suspended all senior programming and is evaluating other Parks programming.
- The City-County Council will be developing new tools for online engagement to ensure continued access and engagement for public meetings.
Day cares and child care centers should suspend any large gatherings and move to social isolation for children.
The city is banning all non-essential travel for its employees and asking those who can work from home to do so.
Marion County residents who can not work from home are asked to clean their work areas regularly, wash hands and limit contact with fellow employees.
You should avoid close contact with anyone who is sick and stay at home if you are sick and call your doctor.