MICHIGAN CITY — Indiana residents woke up Wednesday to a new set of rules to combat the spread of COVID-19 and Mayor Duane Parry explained what they meant for Michigan City residents.

In light of the continuing spread of the virus, and the order issued Monday by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Parry introduced a “SAFER AT HOME” plan for businesses in Michigan City to perform only essential services for the next 14 days.

“With the number of cases of COVID-19 rising, we need to take every step now to slow the spread of the virus, and to preserve precious healthcare resources to care for those who may soon need them,” Parry said.

Residents of Michigan City are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.”

On those occasions when residents are out of their home for necessary tasks, they are reminded to stay at least 8 feet away from others and be in groups of less than 10.

Things you can do under the order:

Go to the grocery or convenience store

Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities

Go to medical appointments (check with doctor or provider first)

Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru (these services may require credit card purchases only)

Go to care for or support a friend or family member

Go for a walk, ride your bike, jog or be in nature for exercise – just keep at least six feet between you and others.

Walk your pets or take them to the veterinarian if necessary

Help someone to get necessary supplies

Receive deliveries from businesses that deliver

Things you should not do:

Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by the Governor’s Order

Visit friends and family without need

Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out

Visit loved ones in the hospital or nursing home.

The following are examples of essential businesses and services that will remain open per the Governor’s Executive Order:

Essential government functions including law enforcement, fire, emergency response, transportation, and businesses that provide government programs and services, including prison and jail staff

Food and beverage: grocery and beverage stores, food banks, catering, and convenience stores selling food.

Medical, mental and behavioral healthcare.

Sanitation and waste removal businesses and services

Energy, water, and sewage businesses and services

Pharmacies and medical supply businesses.

Vehicle fuel, support, service stations and businesses

Banks, credit unions, insurance companies, accounting businesses, and supporting businesses.

Legal and judicial services

Home hardware and business repair

Warehousing and storage

Construction and facilities design businesses

Product logistics, transport, and distribution businesses

Parcel transportation and delivery businesses

Veterinary and pet supply business, including agricultural services and the caring and feeding of all livestock and farm animals

Home and business cleaning and maintenance services

All businesses which rely upon deliveries

Internet and telecommunications systems

In addition, Parry said:

Daycare and childcare business will remain open but will prioritize children of parents working in essential services

Hotels and commercial lodges will remain open but must end entertainment or in-dining services

All businesses will adhere to CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene in the workplace, including encouraging work-from-home and allowing employees when possible to work on-site in shifts to optimize social distancing in the workplace

Grocery stores and pharmacies will make an effort to establish hours only available to senior citizens

The Salvation Army, United Way and social services deemed necessary to help our community will stay open.

The mayor also said that restaurants, bars and social clubs not in compliance with the Governor’s order will be reported to the Health Department and Excise Police for license suspensions.

This Order does not apply to employees of government agencies working within the course and scope of their public service employment. Employees of the City of Michigan City will follow current or future directives issued by the Mayor.

“With the threat of a coronavirus pandemic looming, health officials are reminding people that hand-washing – done the right way – is one of the most effective means to keep it at bay,” Parry said.

The CDC advises people to spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing their hands, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating – as well as after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.

“This virus is growing and not slowing, so let us all keep safe and get through this together,” Parry said.

– From staff reports

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