Midtown COVID-19 Update – May 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 May 2020 updates. April updates. March updates.

May 26 update

The Marion County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) today released an update on COVID-19-positive first responders and the status of local emergency services: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS).

As of May 26:

IMPD: In total, 42 officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-nine have subsequently recovered from the virus, been cleared by a medical professional, and returned to work.

IFD: In total, 32 firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. Thirty-one have subsequently recovered from the virus, been cleared by a medical professional, and returned to work.

IEMS: In total, 8 providers have tested positive for COVID-19. Eight have subsequently recovered from the virus, been cleared by a medical professional, and returned to work.

Indianapolis first responders who test positive for COVID-19 are self-quarantined at home and monitored for any progression of symptoms. Those individuals will return to work only after being medically cleared by a doctor. Firefighters, police officers, and IEMS providers who have worked in close proximity to someone infected with COVID-19 follow the State of Indiana Emergency Operations Center procedure with regard to notification, testing, and self-quarantine. These protocols aim to reduce transmission of the virus between first responders as well as to community members they interact with.

Residents are also encouraged to continue doing their part to stop the spread of the disease. Anyone in the community calling 9-1-1 is asked to be forthright with the dispatcher about any flu-like symptoms they, or any member of their family, may be experiencing—even if the dispatcher does not ask specifically. Residents should try to meet responders at the door or on the front porch if physically capable. This allows for a quick assessment in an open area and helps reduce risk of unnecessary exposure. Residents not currently experiencing an emergency but who have questions about COVID-19 are asked to call 877-826-0011.

May 19 update

A portion of Broad Ripple Avenue will be temporarily closed beginning May 22.

Street Closures Promote Social Distancing While Dining Outdoors

May 18 update

Qualified businesses can receive assistance to help defray the costs associated with reopening thanks to a $5 million grant fund. Thanks to a partnership between the City of Indianapolis and the Indy Chamber, reimbursements for purchases of personal protective equipment are available up to $5,000.

“As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, the RESTART Grant Program will help small businesses plan for reopening with health and safety in mind, said Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber in a statement.

In order to be eligible for a grant up to $5,000, an applicant must meet the following requirements with supporting documentation:

  1. Be a private for-profit business located in Marion County with 150 employees or fewer.
  2. The business occupies the Marion County address on their business registration.
  3. Business start date prior to February 15, 2020.
  4. Purchased personal protective equipment (PPE), professional cleaning and disinfection services, and/ or capital improvements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to comply with State of Indiana and Marion County Public Health Department reopening guidelines between May 1 and June 8, 2020.

Allowable reimbursable expenditures include personal protective equipment like masks, faces shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant products.
Capital improvements to help stop the spread of infection are also covered. These include, but are not limited to, signage, air handling, partitioning for social distancing, and improvements for safe queueing.

Businesses can find more information here and sign up to be notified when processing of applications begins.

May 14 update

Public Health Order 9-2020 [PDF] sets out a series of measures through June 1 that allows some businesses to resume operations. Beginning Friday, May 15, the following modifications to the current stay-at-home order will occur:

  • The number of people who may attend in-person public gatherings—including religious gatherings—will be increased from 10 to 25 people.
  • Non-essential retail outlets—including liquor stores and shopping malls—may open at 50% capacity. Restrictions on food service inside malls remain in place.

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE

Set Your Phase on “2”: Indy Looks to Reopen

May 11 update

The Marion County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) today released an update on COVID-19-positive first responders and the status of local emergency services: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS).

As of May 11:

IMPD: In total, 37 officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-nine have subsequently recovered from the virus, been cleared by a medical professional, and returned to work.

IFD: In total, 30 firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-seven have subsequently recovered from the virus, been cleared by a medical professional, and returned to work.

IEMS: In total, 8 providers have tested positive for COVID-19. Seven have subsequently recovered from the virus, been cleared by a medical professional, and returned to work.

Indianapolis first responders who test positive for COVID-19 are self-quarantined at home and monitored for any progression of symptoms. Those individuals will return to work only after being medically cleared by a doctor. Firefighters, police officers, and IEMS providers who have worked in close proximity to someone infected with COVID-19 follow the State of Indiana Emergency Operations Center procedure with regard to notification, testing, and self-quarantine. These protocols aim to reduce transmission of the virus between first responders as well as to community members they interact with.

Residents are also encouraged to continue doing their part to stop the spread of the disease. Anyone in the community calling 9-1-1 is asked to be forthright with the dispatcher about any flu-like symptoms they, or any member of their family, may be experiencing—even if the dispatcher does not ask specifically. Residents should try to meet responders at the door or on the front porch if physically capable. This allows for a quick assessment in an open area and helps reduce risk of unnecessary exposure. Residents not currently experiencing an emergency but who have questions about COVID-19 are asked to call 877-826-0011.

May 6 update

Mayor Joe Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department reminded city residents that Marion County’s stay-at-home orders will remain in place through at least May 15.

“We are closely monitoring COVID-19 data each day to understand the impact this is having in Marion County,” Dr. Caine said in a statement. “While there is reason to be hopeful, we can’t relax quite yet. Everyone’s continued hard work and patience is needed to slow the spread of this virus even more, and help put our community on a positive path moving forward.”

Current Marion County Public Health Department Orders mandate that all non-essential businesses are to remain closed through Friday, May 15. Businesses with essential functions are permitted to remain open and their employees are permitted to continue traveling to work. When out in public, all Marion County residents are asked to wear a face mask or covering and continue to maintain good hygiene, frequent handwashing, and proper social distancing.

The state’s Back on Track Indiana plan will serve as a foundation for Marion County’s plans according to Mayor Hogsett. “This ensures that, as we continue to receive community testing information and data from healthcare providers, we are able to determine a timeline for entering into future phases of reopening for our city.”

Both leaders said that local data will be analyzed through the weekend and inform the timing of future phases of reopening.

May 4 update

Dr. Virginia Caine of the Marion County Public Health (MCPH) Department has extended the local “stay at home” restrictions in Marion County through May 15. When out in public, all Marion County residents are asked to wear a face mask or covering and continue to maintain good hygiene, with frequent handwashing, and proper social distancing. MCPH also issued new guidance for golf courses and farmers’ markets that are now allowed to open with some restrictions. [PDF]

In a statement she added, “We are seeing some signs of progress and I would like to thank the residents of Marion County for taking the public health guidance and travel restrictions so seriously.”

May 1 update

Marion County public safety and public health agencies announced the Marion County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will move to a Level 3, removing the current around-the-clock staffing. Health and public safety officials will continue to monitor hospital diversions and IEMS runs for any sign of increase or strain on public safety or community systems, coordinating operations from the EOC during normal business hours. Outside of those hours, they will remain on call, capable of ramping up operations within an hour.

“From residents who are staying safer at home to first responders out in the field, the last few weeks have been challenging for everyone in the Indianapolis community, said Paul Babcock, Director of the Office of Public Health and Safety, the coordinating agency for the City’s COVID-19 response. He added, “The data shows that our efforts are working – hospital bed capacity is steady and IEMS runs are gradually trending down.”

IMPD will extend COVID-19-related operational changes through the end of the year. This includes the March 12 directive from Mayor Joe Hogsett to issue summonses in lieu of outright arrests for non-violent misdemeanors, subject to officer discretion if they believe an arrest is the only appropriate avenue to protect public safety.

IFD firefighters have been issued full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as detailed training on such safety measures as donning PPE and the reuse of N95 masks. IFD continues to check the temperature of every firefighter every day at shift change and follows the direction of the IFD Medical Director should a firefighter present a fever or flu-like symptoms.

Indianapolis first responders who test positive for COVID-19 are self-quarantined at home and monitored for any progression of symptoms. Those individuals will return to work only after being medically cleared by a doctor. Firefighters, police officers, and IEMS providers who have worked in close proximity to someone infected with COVID-19 follow the State of Indiana Emergency Operations Center procedure with regard to notification, testing, and self-quarantine. These protocols aim to reduce transmission of the virus between first responders as well as to community members they interact with.

Residents are also encouraged to continue doing their part to stop the spread of the disease. Anyone in the community calling 9-1-1 is asked to be forthright with the dispatcher about any flu-like symptoms they, or any member of their family, may be experiencing—even if the dispatcher does not ask specifically. Residents should try to meet responders at the door or on the front porch if physically capable. This allows for a quick assessment in an open area and helps reduce risk of unnecessary exposure. Residents not currently experiencing an emergency but who have questions about COVID-19 are asked to call 877-826-0011.