INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.
Here’s a look:
Public health order. Marion County’s new public health order is now in effect. That means all bars and nightclubs were forced to shut down again. This includes all bars that did not have a food menu before March 1.
Restaurants for all ages are limited to 50% capacity. Full menu, age-restricted restaurants are limited to 25% capacity indoors.
Table service is required for all indoor dining, no bar service is allowed, and masks are required when not eating or drinking.
Eviction, disconnection moratoriums end. While the new order begins, the state’s ban on evictions ends.
Back in march, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order temporarily stopping evictions and foreclosures, citing the economic impacts of the coronavirus in our state.
He extended the moratorium multiple times, but it expires today.
There are some options for those behind on their rent or mortgage, but it only applies to those who live in Indianapolis Housing Agency properties.
The agency invoked an emergency policy to prevent evictions at their properties only. This means those who live there could have some more time to pay their rent while staying in their home.
You can find more information about that here.
The state’s moratorium on power disconnections is also ending.
For months, utility companies have not been allowed to turn off power for Hoosiers who can’t pay their bills, but that stops today.
The state is trying to make the change somewhat easier. Utility companies are required to provide at least a six-month payment plan for customers struggling to pay.
Ventilator usage down. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a nationwide scramble to find enough ventilators to treat the anticipated surge of the most seriously ill coronavirus patients.
Now, nearly six months into the pandemic, Indiana says 80% of its nearly 2,900 ventilators are available for treatment.
Despite the fact that COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased over the last month, doctors have found ways to get COVID-19 patients back to health without depending on ventilators thanks to evolving drug prescriptions, physical therapy practices, and alternative oxygen treatments.
Free meals for students. Indianapolis Public Schools announced a free meals program for students during remote learning.
According to IPS, students heading back to school with virtual learning, the IPS Food Service Team will provide breakfast and lunch to all IPS students four days a week, beginning August 17.
Individually wrapped, prepackaged meals will be distributed from more than 55 IPS school parking lots from 12 to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
IPS said meals are only available to students enrolled in IPS schools. You can find the meal schedule here.