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Indiana Governor Announces Plan To Reopen State


Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb just announced his plan to gradually reopen the state as part of a five-step plan, dubbed “Back-On-Track.” Indiana will follow four guiding principles to determine how various sectors of the economy should reopen moving forward: (1) the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days; (2) Indiana retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators; (3) Indiana can test all residents who are COVID-19 symptomatic; and (4) the ability to conduct contact tracing.

Governor Holcomb also acknowledged that personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical for businesses as they resume operations, with face masks in particular demand. Indiana is working with state-based companies that have already converted their operations to supply such materials. Indiana is also developing the “Small Business PPE Marketplace” to provide reliable access to PPE for small businesses that need help to comply with safe workplace precautions. Businesses and non-profit entities with fewer than 150 employees and registered to do business in Indiana will be eligible. More details will be outlined in the coming days.

Indiana will also be distributing $300 million to counties, cities, and towns via a population-based formula, which is the first installment from the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Governor Holcomb further acknowledged that as restrictions are lifted in Indiana and more people return to work, visit a store or restaurant, and participate in more activities, the number of COVID-19 cases will likely increase. If Indiana cannot meet the above principles, all or portions of the state may need to pause on moving forward, or the state or regions may return to an earlier phase of the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

Indiana’s 5-Step “Back-On-Track” Plan

Indiana Back-On-Track has five stages. Beginning Monday, May 4, nearly all of Indiana will move to stage 2. Marion and Lake Counties – Indiana’s two most populous counties – may begin Stage 2 on May 11 to ensure new testing and contact tracing programs are up and running. Cass County, which recently had an outbreak, may start Stage 2 on May 18. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines. If health indicators remain positive, the state will move to Stage 3. Below is an overview of the five stages:

Stage 1: Current status

Stage 2

This state begins May 4 for all Indiana counties except Cass, Lake, and Marion. Lake and Marion Counties begin Stage 2 on May 11. Cass County begins Stage 2 on May 18.

Stage 3

This stage begins May 24.

Stage 4

This stage begins June 14.

Stage 5

The final stage begins on July 4.

What Should Employers Do?

As you begin the process of reopening, you should familiarize yourself with our alert: 5 Steps To Reopen Your Workplace, According To CDC’s Latest Guidance. You should also keep handy our 4-Step Plan For Handling Confirmed COVID-19 Cases When Your Business Reopens in the event you learn of a positive case at your workplace. For a more thorough analysis of the many issues you may encounter from a labor and employment perspective, we recommend you review our FP BEYOND THE CURVE: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Business FAQs For Employers and our FP Resource Center For Employers.


Fisher Phillips will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our Louisville, Kentucky office, or any member of our Post-Pandemic Strategy Group Roster.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific state law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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