Gov. Holcomb

Gov. Eric Holcomb announces Wednesday in Indianapolis that 89 of the state's 92 counties will move to Stage 3 of his reopening plan on Friday. 

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb’s newest executive order, released Thursday afternoon, differed slightly from the changes announced at Wednesday’s press conference.

While retailers may resume operations at 75% and restaurants can open up dining to 50% (excluding bar areas), movie theaters will remain closed in Stage 3.

Previously, movie theaters could open at 50% capacity in Stage 3, set to begin on Friday for most of the state. Movie theaters may now reopen in Stage 4 along with other entertainment venues, such as casinos.

Under the new order, social gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted in Stage 3 and physical activity centers, such as gyms, pools, yoga studios and martial arts studios may open with limited class sizes. Contact sports and activities, such as football and lacrosse, are prohibited.

During the Wednesday press conference, Kris Box, the state health commissioner, seemed unsure about guidance for playgrounds.

“The biggest problem is the number of people that touch those surfaces and children oftentimes put their hands to their mouth,” Box said. “That’s a very difficult thing to manage so we are just not there yet with that.”

Playgrounds will be closed under Stage 3, contrary to previous guidance, and don’t yet have a reopening date.

The state proceeds through stages if hospitalization rates and availability of medical equipment hold steady. Most of the state will move to stage 3 on Friday except for Marion, Lake and Cass counties, which will enter Stage 3 on June 1.

The rest of the 89 counties are set to begin Stage 4 in mid-June.

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