Midtown COVID-19 Update – June 2020

Beginning on March 14, 2020, Indy Midtown Magazine has been posting regular updates about the response to the public health emergency by the City of Indianapolis as well as Midtown-related organizations. This post archives all June 2020 updates. May updatesApril updates. March updates.

William Denton Ray, Masqueraders, 2020

June 25 update

Partnering with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the City of Indianapolis has launched the #MaskUpIndy initiative to encourage residents to wear face coverings in public and to promote the City’s free face covering program for Marion County residents. Six local artists have been commissioned to create public artwork to be utilized as a public service announcement illustrating the importance of wearing face coverings.

Posters will be printed and distributed to merchants associations, community centers, and businesses to help remind residents to wear their face coverings. Organizations and businesses wanting to request a poster can reach out to their Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate. Residents can also obtain a free poster during regular business hours from the following locations: Indianapolis Artsgarden (110 W. Washington), City-County Building (200 E. Washington), Indianapolis City Market (222 E Market St), or the Original Farmers Market (every Wednesday at Monument Circle).

Marion County adult residents interested in acquiring a free face covering can submit a request at indy.gov/masks. The City has partnered with numerous local organizations to further distribute face coverings at community events.

June 20 update

City-County Building, 200 E. Washington St., is slated to reopen Monday, June 22. All public services will be consolidated on the first floor, including property tax payments, property tax assessment and valuation, and other property services. Juvenile and Civil Courts will continue to operate remotely with limited in-person hearings expected to begin again on July 6, 2020. Traffic Court will continue to operate remotely for the foreseeable future.

Face coverings are required for everyone entering the building at all times. Designated staff will hand out reusable face coverings to those who need one and can also help those who need special assistance.

Entrances on Market, Delaware, and Washington streets are open for specific access to services. Visitors may be asked to use the alternate court entrance to maintain social distancing.

North – Market St. Entrance—Courts and Related Services Only
West – Delaware St. Entrance—Alternate Courts Entry, Family Services, and Election Services
South – Washington St. Entrance—Property taxes, Police Services, Other Public Services, Appointments, and Employee Guests

Anyone planning a visit to the City-County Building should check Indy.gov first for information and to schedule an appointment when needed. A wide variety of public services are also available digitally at Indy.gov.

June 15 update

IndyParks began its city-wide Summer Meal Service today with a new schedule.

The mobile serving site at the College Avenue branch of the Indianapolis Public Library, 4180 N. College Ave., will serve free meals from 11:30 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday to all children 18 and under. No registration is required. Second Helpings will continue to provide sandwiches for adults.

Free meals will be available at Broad Ripple Park from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday to all children 18 and under. No registration is required. Second Helpings will continue to provide sandwiches for adults.

Indy Parks remind park visitors to maintain social distancing, and to practice CDC recommended guidelines, including wearing a mask, to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

June 13 update

The Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) has announced plans to open libraries in waves based on the ability to have adequate safety supplies and procedures in place. Midtown branches, Glendale and College Avenue, are slated to reopen June 29. The InfoZone library branch inside of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will remain closed until further notice. Curbside pickup service will continue for the foreseeable future.

IndyPL asks patrons who feel unwell to not visit library branches. Patrons are asked to practice good hygiene such as hand-washing and avoiding touching their face. All patrons over 2 years of age will be required to wear a face mask. Library staff will monitor building capacity and if necessary, limit access in order to maintain physical distancing requirements. Library visits will limited to less than one hour. Details

June 12 update

Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine announced today that Indianapolis can proceed to Phase 4 of its reopening plan on June 19. [PDF]

The June 19 move will result in the following changes to the current stay-at-home order:

  • Bars and nightclubs may reopen at 50% capacity, adhering to social distance guidelines.
  • Cultural, entertainment, and tourism sites may open at 50% capacity. This includes museums, zoos, aquariums, etc.
  • Live music venues, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and similar facilities may reopen at 50% capacity, adhering to social distancing guidelines.
  • Public access to government buildings is determined by entity. Masks are required in the City County Building and are strongly encouraged in other facilities.
  • Professional office building employees may resume work at full capacity, with special dispensation for at-risk employees.
  • Houses of worship can accommodate indoor service at 75% capacity, provided congregants maintain six feet of distance and wear a face covering to decrease the spread of the virus.
  • Restaurants may serve at 75% total capacity.
  • Shopping malls and retail can increase to 100% of capacity with continued social distancing.
  • Campgrounds may open but on-site playground facilities must remain closed.
  • Public gatherings are capped at 250 people.

Salons, spas, and tattoo parlors may continue to operate by appointment only, with mandatory face coverings for employees and patrons. Playgrounds must remain closed.

June 10 update

Indy Chamber’s RESTART grant program launches today in partnership with the City of Indianapolis. The City-County Council allocated $5 million for the program from the $76 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds received by the City. This grant provides up to $5000 to reimburse businesses for expenses related to safety equipment, PPE, cleaning supplies, construction modifications and other costs incurred so they can reopen safely. The business must have receipts of these expenses already incurred to apply. The applications are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be reviewed quickly.

June 2 update

IMM photo

Today Broad Ripple took a knee for peace.

Broad Ripple Avenue runs through the heart of the Village, and today the heart of the Village was pulsing with a plea for peace, compassion, and mutual support.

Around 100 people answered a call from Flatwater Restaurant chef Jeffery Hartfield to meet and kneel for nine minutes in a silent demonstration of grief and solidarity.

“Change starts now,” Hartfield said after the crowd stood up. “Change starts with you.”

Nine minutes approximated the amount of time Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd on May 25 while other officers also restrained him. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the case that has placed systemic racism front and center in the nation’s consciousness.

After the event, Hartfield spoke briefly about his motivation for organizing the event. “I’ve been in a situation where I’ve been pulled over for ‘driving while black,’ but thanks to the grace of God, I didn’t lose my life.” He was quick to add, “There are a lot of wonderful officers out there—it’s the few who are dividing us.”

Hartfield said he’s found nothing but acceptance in the Village since he started working at Flatwater seven years ago. “Broad Ripple took me in and made me part of the family. Words can’t express the love I have for this place. It accepts you no matter your race, color, religion, or sexuality.”

Hartfield was joined by his boss, Michael Yount, who shut down the restaurant to kneel next to his employee. “We weren’t going to let him do this by himself,” Yount said.

Broad Ripple Village Association executive director Colleen Fanning said such spontaneous events demonstrate the kind of open, affirming, and welcoming community Broad Ripple is. “It’s important to focus on the positive things that are happening that bring us together.”

June 1 update

Today marks the day for additional modifications to the stay-at-home order as the city adopts sections of Phase 3 reopening which includes:

  • Restaurants may serve patrons both indoor and outdoor at 50% total capacity. Staff must wear PPE and diners should be seated at tables kept 6 feet apart.
  • Shopping malls and retail can increase capacity to 75% while continuing to practice social distancing.
  • Public gatherings are capped at 50 individuals.
  • Salons may re-open by appointment only, provided PPE is worn and other social distancing measures are met.
  • Fitness centers may open at 50% capacity; community pools may also open at 50% capacity with a cap of 100 people total.

Playgrounds, movie theaters, performance venues, bowling allies, museums, and indoor play places must remain closed until later phases.

IndyGo

After operating on Saturday schedules Monday through Saturday since March 29, IndyGo returns to regular weekday schedules. Riders are asked to continue to physically distance themselves from other passengers if possible and to wear a face covering onboard if they are able. A detour for Route 18 through Broad Ripple remains in place to accommodate the closure of parts of Broad Ripple Avenue to safe outdoor seating for restaurants. Detour details.

IndyParks
While parks buildings will remain closed June 15, IndyParks staff returned to their family centers and facilities today. Staff will be available by phone or email. In-person transactions will be by appointment only. Day camp registration begins today, giving parents and guardians an opportunity to register youngsters for 13 day camps in city parks. To register call 317-327-PARK or visit Indyparks.org

IndyPL
The Indianapolis Public Library has expanded curbside pickup services to the following Midtown locations: College Avenue and Glendale from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Glendale is also handling curbside services on Sundays from noon – 5 p.m. The InfoZone branch at The Children’s Museum remains closed. No branches offer Saturday service. Details.