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Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Indiana Faces a New Normal Amid Stage 5

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State of Indiana

INDIANA- Northwest Indiana, along with the rest of the state, is set to enter reopening Stage 5, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even though life and business won't be exactly the same as it was before the pandemic, Stage 5 goes into effect at 11:01 p.m. Friday, per Governor Eric Holcomb, the "Times" reports.

Capacity limits at restaurants and bars and nightclubs have been lifted, but social distancing will still be required.  An executive order signed by Holcomb on Thursday requires businesses to continue to keep at least 6 feet of distance between unrelated patrons, even if that requires not seating people at every table in a restaurant.

Also in the order the Republican governor directs businesses to maintain enhanced personal and facility sanitation standards, encourage sick employees to stay home from work, and to implement non-punitive sick leave policies to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus.

All non-exempt Hoosiers are expected to continue wearing face masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces where it's not possible to stay 6 feet apart from other people, as well as while riding public transportation or in a vehicle shared with a non-household member.

Gatherings or events with more than 500 people also must submit a COVID-19 mitigation plan to their local health department at least 14 days prior to the event and receive health department approval to actually hold the event.

Holcomb described the rules as "the new normal," and insists the measures will protect Indiana residents from the spread of COVID-19.

 

Sharon Jackson is the local host of "All Things Considered" and a reporter for Lakeshore Public Radio. She has been with 89.1 FM since its launch in 2009. Sharon is also a radio DJ in Chicago, and has been since 2004. In her previous job at Metro Networks/Westwood One, she was heard on am 890 WLS, WGN radio 720 am and am 560 WIND. She has also delivered news and traffic reports on radio stations all over Chicago and the suburbs including 95.9 The River, 98.3 WCCQ and Star 96.7.