Washington County will be moving to a “Red” status on Wednesday, Dec. 2 according to the Washington County Health Department. 

What does that mean? 

First off, it means that all students in all three schools will be moving to all virtual education beginning Wednesday, Dec. 2 

Other restrictions imposed by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb are:

  • Social gatherings of any kind, inside or outside, are limited to 25 people.
  • Special, seasonal or commercial events planned for more than 25 people require the approval of a safety plan by the local health department. Events are not advised to be held. College and pro sports are included.
  • Attendance at winter indoor K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities including IHSAA sports is limited to participants, support personnel, and parents/guardians.
  • Local officials may consider limiting hours for the operation of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.
  • Community recreational sports leagues and tournaments may continue with participants, required personnel, and parents/guardians only.
  • Senior care activities suspended.
  • Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other congregate settings may impose visitation limits.
  • Common areas and break rooms should be closed.

Holcomb ended Stage 5 of Indiana’s Back on Track plan about three weeks ago and replaced it with an executive order effective November 15 with requirements being established based on a county’s status in the color-coded metrics map.

This is the state’s map from the last week of November. It will change on Wednesday, Dec. 2 and reflect new Covid-19 numbers and status’ for each county.

Businesses will remain open, but operators and patrons must meet certain requirements when a county is in orange or red status.

Going forward, signage stating face coverings must be worn is required at public and employee entrances. Only people wearing face coverings should be admitted.

Furthermore, all customers in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs must be spaced six feet apart.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Alcohol & Tobacco Commission, with local partners, will continue to check businesses for occupancy, social distancing and face-covering requirements.

Governor Holcomb said churches and religious gatherings will remain exempt from restrictions.

According to the local health department, they feel Washington County could remain at the “Red” level for two weeks before changing. 

This is the first time Washington County has been in the “Red.” It has been “Orange” for several weeks, having been in the “Yellow” since early in the fall. 

When local schools returned to in-person education in August, Washington County (and other counties) numbers began to rise.

In August, Washington County had 148 new cases of Covid-19 compared to the previous months:

  • March – 19 cases
  • April – 25 cases
  • May – 8 cases
  • June – 12 cases
  • July – 13 cases

In September, the numbers dipped a bit to 47 in the month. 

In October, there were 155 total cases and the numbers rose to 432 in November (for a total of 865), which has helped raise the county in the state’s color classification map.