We realize how confusing pandemic-related restrictions can be state-to-state, community-to-community and even business-to-business as we begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

So, with that in mind, we wanted to do our best to provide a pandemic-reopening roadmap as it pertains to Hendricks County, Indiana, for those who may be visiting and for our residents and business owners.

Masks while no longer mandatory statewide inside public spaces are still recommended.Statewide Mask Mandate Becomes Advisory

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted his mask mandate April 6, 2021, changing it to an advisory due to the ongoing pandemic. The change still recommends but does not require wearing masks in public spaces. It does, however, give local governments and businesses the authority to enforce stricter mandates when it comes to wearing masks.

With that said, as of April 6, Hendricks County government officials haven't come out with an official statement but it appears they plan to follow the state and will not enforce any further mask requirements.

Even though Hendricks County government isn't enforcing anything stricter, individual Hendricks County businesses can enforce their own policies under the advisory.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state still recommend people wear masks whenever they are in public regardless of state and local regulations. Facial coverings will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and all vaccination testing sites.

The previous mask mandate required anyone age 8 and older wear a facial covering in indoor public spaces, commercial entities, transportation services or in outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible throughout all of Indiana.


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Color-Coded County AssessmentIndiana COVID color-coded assement map by county

Back in November 2020 with COVID cases surging across Indiana, it had become time to find a new system specific to every county. So, the state adopted a color-coding system that put counties into one of four categories based primarily on that county's 7-day COVID positivity rate. The categories include: blue, yellow, orange and red; with each color having different restrictions and red being the most restrictive.

The color-coded statewide map is updated weekly at noon on Wednesdays and can be found by clicking here.

So what do the colors mean?

Blue

This is the least restrictive of the four colors, meaning counties in blue are in the best shape in terms of weekly positive tests. Social gatherings, attractions, businesses or events are allowed to be at 100 percent capacity but social distancing and masks are still recommended.

Yellow

Social gatherings, attractions, businesses or events are allowed but at 50 percent capacity of the venue or facility. Gatherings seeking more than 50 percent capacity must submit a safety plan to their local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval.

Orange

Social gatherings, attractions, businesses or events can only be at 25 percent capacity of the venue or facility. Gatherings seeking more than 25 percent capacity must submit a safety plan to their local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval.

Additionally, businesses should take extra steps to reduce the number of employees allowed in common areas and take additional measures to ensure social distancing standards.

Community and recreational sporting events including tournaments should limit attendance to participants, required personnel and parents, guardians and siblings of minors who are participating.

Red

This is the most restrictive of the four colors. Social gatherings or events can only be at 25 percent capacity. Gatherings seeking more than 25 percent capacity must submit a safety plan to their local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval.

Restaurants and retail businesses are encouraged to only accept phone and online ordering with curbside pickup. Senior care activities must be canceled or suspended.

Community and recreational sporting events including tournaments should limit attendance to participants, required personnel and parents, guardians and siblings of minors who are participating.

What Does This Mean For Hendricks County?Mask Up and Carry On Sign

As I write this, Hendricks County like most of Indiana has made it into blue after a rough fall and winter. As long as the county remains blue, there basically won't be any restrictions since the mask mandate was lifted. That said, everyone must remain vigilant as health leaders continue to reiterate we aren't out of the woods yet.

Precautions like washing hands regularly, wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines in certain situations should still happen. If a local business has their own stricter guidelines, we ask that you be respectful of them and their employees and either follow their guidelines or leave the business. Just remember, we are still all in this together.

We do have a COVID-19 page we update regularly with all the latest, and we have come up with other resources such as our easy-to-read and regularly updated Hendricks County Restaurant Guide as well as free signage for our Hendricks County businesses by clicking here.