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-IR- Database: Indiana Register





WHEREAS, on March 6, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-02 [20200311-IR-GOV200091EOA] which declared a public health emergency exists throughout the State of Indiana as result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and a confirmed report of the disease in our State and this initial declaration has been extended by me in subsequent Executive Orders (Executive Orders 20-17, -25, -30, -34, -38, -41 & simultaneously with this Executive Order, EO 20-44);

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic and, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency with respect to this dangerous virus;

WHEREAS, as of the date of this Executive Order, the virus has now spread to every county in our State, with over 114,000 confirmed cases and over 3,300 deaths;

WHEREAS, as Governor, under Indiana's Emergency Management and Disaster Law, Ind. Code ch. 10-14-3 ("Emergency Disaster Law"), I have authority to take actions necessary to prepare for, respond to and address a public health disaster emergency including the following:

° making, amending and rescinding the necessary orders, rules and regulations to carry out the response to a public health disaster emergency;

° suspending the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business, including the orders, rules or regulations of any state agency if strict compliance with any of these provisions would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;

° transferring the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies or units for performing or facilitating emergency services; and

° using any and all available resources of state government and of each political subdivision of our State as reasonably necessary to cope with the public health disaster emergency;

WHEREAS, in addition to the authority granted to me by the Indiana General Assembly, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has been granted authority under Title 16 of the Indiana Code to take measures in connection with prevention and suppression of disease and epidemics;

WHEREAS, the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Agency (IOSHA) has authority under Title 22 of the Indiana Code to inspect and take steps to ensure businesses are operating a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees;

WHEREAS, to reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ISDH recommended implementation of mitigation strategies to contain this virus including engaging in social distancing and wearing face coverings in public settings and when around people who don't live in the same household;

WHEREAS, in order to take all necessary steps to increase containment of this virus, I have issued various Executive Orders including a stay-at-home order, closure of state government buildings and restrictions on retail establishments and on in-person dining at restaurants;

WHEREAS, by consulting with experts and utilizing a data-driven approach to make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education, we began to reopen our Hoosier economy while prioritizing Hoosiers' health in the process;

WHEREAS, to continue mitigation of COVID-19 and to lower the risk of a resurgence, a measured and staggered approach to reopening businesses and entities has been instituted. Five stages were outlined initially with each ensuing stage being subject to fewer restrictions and limitations than the previous stage, as follows:

° Stage 1 began with the stay-at-home directive issued on March 23, 2020, and continued until May 4, 2020 when Stage 2 commenced;

° Stage 2 began the reopening of Indiana on May 4, 2020, and continued until May 22, 2020 when Stage 3 commenced;

° Stage 3 expanded the reopening of Indiana on May 22, 2020, and continued until June 12, 2020, when Stage 4 commenced; and

° Stage 4 further expanded the reopening of Indiana, beginning on June 12, 2020, and was scheduled to expire at 11:59 on July 3, 2020;

WHEREAS, Stage 5 was projected to begin on July 4, 2020, and while certain indicators of COVID-19 mitigation were trending well, a key indicator, the percentage of positive cases compared to the number of tests performed, was increasing and thus, warranted additional monitoring and measures before a significant lessening of further restrictions could occur;

WHEREAS, additionally throughout many areas across the United States, there were signs of increased coronavirus spread and evidence of resurgence in areas where there has been significant reopening of businesses and easing or disregard of mitigation efforts;

WHEREAS, in response to these developments, Stage 4.5 was created and began on July 2, 2020, which paused the expansion of the reopening of Indiana and Stage 4.5 has remained in place since July 2nd;

WHEREAS, in addition to pausing at Stage 4.5, on July 24, 2020, a face covering requirement was instituted to mitigate and slow the spread of this disease in the Hoosier state;

WHEREAS, pausing at Stage 4.5, imposing a face covering requirement, and the collective efforts of Hoosiers have proven effective in slowing the spread of this disease in the Hoosier state, as demonstrated by the following:

° the rate of COVID-19 positivity has continued to decline from a high of nearly 17% in late April to 3.9% over the most recent 7-day average;

° the number of new cases per 100,000 people has been steady or declining in most counties in the state;

° while COVID-19 deaths tragically continue, we have seen a significant decline in the number of Hoosier deaths per week since the height of the pandemic;

° hospitalization rates have also held steady during this same time period, but they remain more than 30% higher than the state's low of 600 in June; and

° our capacity for critical care beds and ventilators, the ability to test for COVID-19 and the capacity for contact tracing remain more than adequate; and

WHEREAS, based on all of the above, the State of Indiana may move into Stage 5 which will allow all businesses to reopen and operate while continuing to require a few strategic and critical measures to protect Hoosiers from the spread of this dangerous virus.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Eric J. Holcomb, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor by the Indiana Constitution and the laws of the State of Indiana, do hereby order:

1. Stage 5: The New Normal During a Global Pandemic

a. On September 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. all individuals, businesses, entities and counties in the State will be permitted to transition into Stage 5 and at such time must adhere to the directives in this Executive Order. Stage 5 will continue until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, October 17, 2020, unless extended, modified or rescinded by me.

b. The directives in prior Executive Orders pertaining to the Stay At Home Order (Stage 1), Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 4.5, and pertaining to face coverings are rescinded and superseded by this Executive Order (Executive Orders 20-08, -09, -18, -22, -26, -28, -29, -32, -35, -36, -37, -39 & -42.

c. The implementation of Stage 5 brings Indiana to a new normal.

d. To allow our economy to remain fully reopen and protect our health, each and every Hoosier should adhere to CDC guidance and take responsibility for their safety and the health and safety of those around them.

e. Unless otherwise specified, nothing in this Executive Order prohibits a county or political subdivision from imposing more stringent requirements than this Executive Order requires.

2. Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 within each County and Statewide

a. County by County Assessment: The State has implemented a color-coded system to inform Hoosiers about the status of COVID-19 across Indiana. The color-coded system or zones will be updated at least weekly.

b. Zones: There are 4 levels of the monitoring system which include:

i) Blue Zone: Continue with all current activities as outlined for Stage 5 in this Executive Order;

ii) Yellow Zone: Community spread risk remains low but increased awareness and safety vigilance are needed;

iii) Orange Zone: Community spread is high and the ISDH will consult with local officials about ways to slow the disease spread; and

iv) Red Zone: The prevalence of disease activity shows very significant community spread and the ISDH may order actions to mitigate the spread of disease.

c. Assessment by the State Health Commissioner:

i) County Specific Weekly Assessment: I direct the Commissioner of the ISDH to:

1) implement and conduct on a weekly basis, a four level, color-coded health assessment for each county within the state based on data indicating an increase or decrease of COVID-related activity;

2) continue communicating with local health and other officials when assessing and assigning the appropriate level to each county;

3) continue providing guidance to local officials and consult with them regarding issuance of additional measures to mitigate against COVID-19; and

4) in making the weekly assessment, consider the following:

a) seven (7) day all tests positivity rate (percentage of positive test results over the number of tests performed);

b) new weekly cases per 100,000 residents;

c) whether a county's positivity rate has increased or decreased from the previous week; and

d) whether any increase in the percentage of positive cases is isolated to congregate living settings or is from the community at large.

ii) Statewide: I direct the Commissioner of the ISDH to continue to monitor the following factors and report any significant regional or statewide changes in:

1) the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients;

2) the capacity for critical care beds and ventilators;

3) the ability to test for COVID-19; and

4) the capacity for contact tracing.

3. Requirements for All Hoosiers in Stage 5

Unless additional restrictions are imposed under the color-coded system described above which then must be observed, all individuals in the State of Indiana must adhere to the following:

a. Exercise Caution at all Times: Individuals in the state are encouraged to exercise caution and take precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

b. High Risk and Vulnerable Individuals: People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including those 65 and above and those who are sick or have underlying medical issues, are urged to remain vigilant about protecting their exposure to COVID-19, including limiting trips outside of their homes as recommended by the CDC.

c. Face Covering Requirement: During Stage 5, every individual within the State of Indiana shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when:

i) inside a business, a public building, or other indoor place open to the public. This does not extend, however, to private offices, private workspaces or meetings in which six feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained between people not in the same household;

ii) in an outdoor public space wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; or

iii) using public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;

unless an exemption outlined in 3.d. below applies or when in a private residence.

d. Exemptions to Wearing Face Coverings: The following people are exempt from this directive to wear a face covering but are strongly encouraged to do so if practicable and without undue risk, or alternatively, are strongly encouraged to wear a face shield:

i) children under two (2) years of age should not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation;

ii) children who are over the age of two (2) years and under the age of eight (8) years unless otherwise required by a directive in this Executive Order;

iii) any person with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability which prevents wearing a face covering;

iv) any person who is deaf or hard of hearing, or communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;

v) any person for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines;

vi) any person while consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant or other establishment to eat or drink;

vii) any person while exercising or engaging in sports activity and who can maintain six feet of social distancing from other people not in the same household;

viii) any person who is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water and who can maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household;

ix) any person while driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;

x) any person obtaining a service which requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a health-related or personal care service involving the face, however the removal of the face covering must be temporary and limited only to the extent necessary to obtain the service;

xi) any person, upon request, as part of a law enforcement investigatory stop or investigation or court-related proceeding;

xii) any person who is incarcerated;

xiii) any person who is experiencing homelessness;

xiv) any person while giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience if the person can maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; or

xv) any person attending or engaged in a religious service as he or she must already maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household to mitigate against the spread of respiratory droplets from singing or other participation in a service.

e. Definitions:

i) Face Coverings: A "face covering" means a cloth which covers the nose and mouth and is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.

ii) Face Shields: A "face shield" is a mask, typically made of clear plastic, which covers the nose and mouth.

4. Requirements for All Businesses and Entities in Indiana

For purposes of this Executive Order, all businesses and entities situated or operating in the State of Indiana are covered by directives in this Executive Order and include any for-profit, non-profit or educational entity, regardless of the nature of the service, the function it performs, or its corporate or entity structure.

Subject to any requirements, restrictions, and prohibitions specified in this Executive Order, businesses and other entities in the Hoosier state are allowed to be fully open and operate.

Hoosier businesses and entities include retail, restaurants, professional services, personal services, cultural and entertainment, public amusement, gyms, exercise and fitness centers, sports and athletic activities, outdoor activities, child care, day camps, adult care, education, health care providers and operations, financial and insurance, social services, charitable and religious, laundry, hotels and motels, manufacturing and production, trades, shipping and delivery, transportation, industrial, labor infrastructure, media, and governmental.

a. COVID-Response Plans: All businesses and entities continuing operations or resuming full operations are required to develop a plan to implement measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients, and members.

All open businesses and entities must re-evaluate any existing plan and update it to reflect current business practices and safeguards.

The business plan must be provided to each employee or staff and posted publicly.

The plan shall address, at a minimum, the following points:

i) instituting an employee health screening process;

ii) employing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the workplace, including regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces;

iii) enhancing the ability of employees, customers and clients to wash hands or take other personal hygiene measures such as use of hand sanitizer; and

iv) complying with social distancing requirements established by the CDC, including maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the general public when possible and/or employing other separation measures such as wearing face coverings or using barriers when social distancing is not possible.

b. Social Distancing and Other Requirements: All businesses and entities in the state must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing and sanitation requirements outlined in this directive.

The phrase "social distancing" means maintaining at least six feet of distance from other individuals or, in the event six feet of distance is not possible, use of a barrier to separate individuals or members of a single household from others.

The phrase "sanitation requirements" or "sanitation measures" includes washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.

All businesses and entities must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with the social distancing and sanitation requirements, including, where possible, the following:

i) Designate Six-Foot Distances: Designating with signage, tape or by other means, six feet of spacing for employees, customers, clients or members to maintain appropriate distance.

ii) Hand Sanitizer and Sanitizing Products: Having hand sanitizer, and sanitizing products, readily available for employees and customers. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of work areas, and even more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas.

iii) Vulnerable Populations: Businesses are encouraged to continue to implement separate operating hours for the elderly and vulnerable customers and businesses are encouraged to continue offering online ordering and/or curbside pickup.

iv) Online and Remote Access: Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and to continue services by phone or remotely.

c. Compliance with IOSHA Standards: All employers, whether manufacturers, distributors, professional offices, retailers or others, must comply with safety and health standards established and enforced by IOSHA. Employers are subject to specific standards to prevent the exposure or spread of a disease. Additionally, the General Duty Clause requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

d. Guidance for all Businesses/Employers: All businesses and employers are encouraged to adopt and/or take the following actions:

i) utilize policies regarding telework and remote work when reasonable and practicable;

ii) ensure sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive in order to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children or other family members. Consider encouraging employees to do a self-assessment each day in order to check if they have any COVID-19 type symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath);

iii) actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever and symptoms for the requisite time periods recommended by the CDC as set forth here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. Suspend any policies and do not require a healthcare provider's note to validate the illness or return to work of employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness;

iv) promptly separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately. Restrict their access to the business until they have recovered;

v) reinforce key messages to all employees regularly (including stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene), and place posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen. Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees;

vi) frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Provide disposable wipes so commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use; and

vii) be prepared to change business practices, if needed, in order to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers or temporarily suspend some of your operations).

5. Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, Nightclubs and Other Establishments Providing In-Person Food and Drink Service

a. Previously issued capacity limits for restaurants, bars, taverns, nightclubs and other establishments providing in-person food and/or drink service are rescinded and are replaced with the following requirements:

i) all patrons must remain seated while consuming food and/or drink or when otherwise remaining on the premises; and

ii) seating must be arranged and maintained so that individuals, households, or parties are spaced at least six feet apart from any other individual, household or party.

b. Self-service beverage stations are permitted and self-service food stations (buffets, salad bars, etc.) are permitted but not recommended unless a staff member serves patrons.

6. Gatherings or Events Where More Than 500 Individuals Will Be Present

a. Gatherings or Events: The assembly or convening of multiple people from separate households in a single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time to attend a single event and/or events of limited duration – such as a wedding, a family reunion, a party, weekly summer concerts or movies-in-the-park, fairs, festivals, carnivals, parades, graduation ceremonies, community holiday celebrations, conventions, fundraisers, sport or racing competitions, shows, or other entertainment events – where the total attendance is expected to exceed 500 individuals, must submit an event plan to local health officials before proceeding.

b. Event Plan: Event organizers must develop and submit to their local health department a written plan outlining the steps to be taken to mitigate against COVID-19. Each plan must address the following issues:

i) Guest Information: identifying the appropriate information to be provided to guests to stay home if sick or part of a vulnerable population, engage in social distancing, increase handwashing, etc.;

ii) Staff & Volunteer Screening: identifying measures to be taken to appropriately screen staff and volunteers for COVID-19 symptoms;

iii) Social Distancing Measures: identifying measures to be employed to ensure attendees engage in social distancing such as use of multiple entrances, designated seating, one-way flow of attendees, ground markings, distance between seating/tables, etc.

iv) Increased Sanitation: outlining steps to be taken to ensure the event space is appropriately cleaned and sanitized, that high touch areas have increased cleaning, and that additional handwashing or hand sanitizing is available;

v) Face Coverings: identifying face coverings will be required and the measures to be taken to ensure coverings are worn; and

vi) Compliance: identifying the number of event staff or volunteers who will be available and sufficient to monitor and ensure compliance with the approved plan and other Executive Order directives.

c. Plan Submission Timeline: Plans must be submitted at least 14 days in advance of the event.

d. Local Health Department Review: Local health departments may review and approve/disapprove event plans or request adjustments.

e. Monitoring & Enforcement: Event planners must have sufficient event staff or volunteers present during the event to monitor and ensure compliance with the approved plan and other Executive Order directives.

7. Enforcement

a. Workplace Safety: I direct the IOSHA to take all available administrative and enforcement actions against businesses or entities failing to comply with workplace safety conditions.

b. Health & Law Enforcement Officials: The ISDH, local boards of health, other state and local officials or law enforcement officers may take all available and permissible administrative and enforcement actions against businesses or entities failing to comply with restrictions and other public health requirements for businesses as set forth in this Executive Order. It is recommended the following incremental steps be taken:

i) issuing a verbal order to cease the unsafe practice so an owner has an opportunity to comply;

ii) if a business entity fails to comply with a verbal order, health department should issue an order to cease the unsafe practice;

iii) if a business entity continues operation in an unsafe manner despite an order to cease and desist, the relevant official should issue an order to close the business entity;

iv) if an order to close a business is issued, the business shall be reported to the Secretary of State and to any relevant licensing, permitting, or certifying board, commission or other entity for consideration of revocation proceedings; and

v) if an order to close a business is issued, the matter should be considered for referral to the local prosecuting attorney.

8. Special Requirements for K-12 Educational Institutions

a. Buildings, Facilities and Grounds:

Throughout the public health emergency, unless rescinded or modified by me, all public and private K-12 educational institutions shall require all students in grades 3-12 regardless of age, all faculty, all staff, all vendors, all contractors, all volunteers, and all visitors to their educational institutions to wear a face covering or a face shield while physically present in any building, facility or grounds at all times who do not otherwise fall within an exemption listed in 3.d. or who fall within an exemption listed below.

b. School Buses or School-Sponsored Modes of Transportation:

All students regardless of age or grade, all faculty, all staff, all vendors, all contractors, all volunteers, and all visitors shall wear a face covering or a face shield while on a school bus or other school-sponsored mode of transportation except those who fall within an exemption listed in 3.d. (ii – xv).

c. Additional Exemptions to Face Covering Requirement for K-12 Educational Institutions:

i) Food Consumption: Face coverings or face shields are not required while eating or drinking;

ii) Faculty/Staff Areas: Faculty and staff, while working–other than to prepare food or meals–along with other individuals who are in a room, office or place, where all persons not of the same household can maintain six (6) feet of social distance from each other are not required to wear a face covering or face shield;

iii) Children Between Ages 2 & 8: Except when on school buses or on other school-sponsored modes of transportation, children, whether or not students, who are over the age two (2) years and under the age of eight (8) years are not required to wear face coverings or face shields. Such children, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering or a face shield. Children under the age of two (2) years should not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation;

iv) Classroom Settings:

1) Where a classroom or place of instruction can be configured so that all students and instructors can maintain six (6) feet of social distancing from one another at all times, face coverings or face shields do not need to be worn during in-person educational instruction;

2) Where a classroom or place of instruction can be configured so that all students can maintain at least three (3) feet of social distancing from one another at all times, and where students are positioned to face in the same direction, face coverings or face shields do not need to be worn during in-person educational instruction by students. Instructors must wear a face covering or face shield unless the instructor(s) can maintain six (6) feet of social distancing from students; or

3) Where a classroom or place of instruction cannot be configured so that all students can maintain either six (6) feet of social distance or at least three (3) feet of social distancing from one another with students facing the same direction at all times, face coverings or face shields must be worn during in-person educational instruction by students. Instructors must wear a face covering or face shield unless the instructor(s) can maintain six (6) feet of social distancing from students. At the direction of the instructor, a student may be permitted to remove his or her mask on an intermittent and temporary basis.

v) Recess: Face coverings and face shields may be removed during recess periods provided social distancing can be maintained.

vi) Extracurricular & Co-Curricular Activities: Students, teachers, instructors, directors, coaches, trainers, volunteers, and other personnel, when not engaging in strenuous physical activity or subject to an exemption specified above, shall wear face coverings or face shields unless six feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained.

d. Enforcement: Schools are responsible for developing and implementing an enforcement plan.

9. No Limitation on Authority

Nothing in this Executive Order shall, in any way, alter or modify any existing legal authority allowing the State, any local health department, or any other proper entity from ordering: (a) any quarantine or isolation that may require an individual to remain inside a particular residential property or medical facility for a limited period of time, including the duration of this public health emergency; or (b) any closure of a specific location for a limited period of time, including the duration of this public health emergency.

10. Local Declarations of Emergency

Pursuant to the Emergency Disaster Law, no local ordinance, directive, or order of any county, political subdivision, or other local government entity pertaining to this public health emergency, may contradict or impose less restrictive requirements than those set forth in this Executive Order, or else that ordinance, directive, or order will be void and of no force or effect. However, unless prohibited by an Executive Order, local ordinances, directives, and orders may be more restrictive.

11. Savings Clause

If any provision of this Executive Order, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Executive Order, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Executive Order are hereby declared to be severable.

  IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, Eric J. Holcomb, have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Indiana, on this 24th day of September, 2020. 
  Eric J. Holcomb 
  Governor of Indiana 
ATTEST:  Connie Lawson 
  Secretary of State 

Posted: 10/14/2020 by Legislative Services Agency

DIN: 20201014-IR-GOV200510EOA
Composed: Mar 25,2023 3:52:39PM EDT
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