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Carmel mayor issues emergency declaration restricting travel, closing playgrounds

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has declared a local disaster emergency for the city, adding to the restrictions on residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A roundabout near 136th Street and Keystone Avenue in Carmel has a new "traffic metering system" which is similar to a stoplight. (Photo: Dronecam 13)

CARMEL, Ind. (WTHR) - Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has declared a local disaster emergency for the city, adding to the restrictions on residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new orders include a ban on unnecessary travel and the closure of public playgrounds. Brainard encouraged local workout facilities to close, except for one-on-one instruction. Banks are being told to stay open, but only provide drive-thru or ATM services.

“I realize that the steps we are taking are difficult for local business owners and residents, but we must act quickly and we must act now to prevent the further spread of this deadly virus that has brought much pain and death to China and European countries and is threatening to do the same here in the United States of America,” Brainard said in a release.

Travel in the city is now only allowed for medical reasons, including those who are the primary caregiver for a patient, mandatory work travel and to shop for "food, groceries, medication, essential household goods, and hygiene products." Delivery drivers are not impacted by the restrictions.

The travel restrictions are the same as those ordered by Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness earlier in the week.

While playgrounds are now closed, trails for bicycling or walking are open and the mayor encouraged their use.

Restrictions on bars and restaurants in Carmel, as well as elective surgical procedures, were also issued in alignment with Gov. Eric Holcomb's executive order Monday. Only drive-thru, delivery or carryout service is permitted at facilities that provide dining.

The restrictions took effect Wednesday evening.