Indianapolis Star will take a giant step towards easing local COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, in time for the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Bars can operate at 50% capacity instead of 25% capacity, and restaurants can increase indoor capacity from 50% on Monday to 75%. Bars and restaurants can again stay open until 2 a.m. instead of closing at midnight.
Although the timing of the changes looks like they’re related to the upcoming basketball tournaments in town, Mayor Joe Hogsett insisted it was a long way off.
“We’re making these changes because the data and public health experts have told me the advances we’ve made are making a difference,” he said of the Indianapolis Star.
In Indianapolis and Marion Counties, coronavirus cases have decreased significantly in the past few weeks. The county currently only reports more than 100 new cases per day and had a positivity rate of around 3.8% per Indianapolis Star in mid-February. Officials also said they have taken extra precautions when all the teams and fans come together in town next month and that they have “over 200 contact trainees” ready to work during the tournaments.
The women’s Big Ten tournament kicks off March 9 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the men follow suit a day later at Lucas Oil Stadium. The NCAA tournament will follow with the First Four in various locations around town on March 18 – a change the NCAA made due to the pandemic, instead of holding games in numerous locations across the country. The Final Four will take place at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
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