INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marion County officials are expected to comment on whether they will recommend lifting coronavirus restrictions by the holiday weekend on Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Virginia Caine has been clear that in order for her to recommend lifting those restrictions, 50% of Marion County residents would need to be vaccinated, along with other factors involving cases and daily data.
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The latest information on the Marion County Public Health Department’s website has that number still under 40%.
July 4th is less than a week away, which means it is nearing time for Marion County officials to decide whether they will recommend lifting restrictions to align the county with the current state guidelines. That would mean lifting capacity restrictions and mask requirements.
“You are not getting really the full experience that you come here for. It is a little sad. But I think you can still have fun,” said Rachel Meyer, who is visiting downtown Indianapolis from West Lafayette with her mom, Tina Meyer.
Caine has said repeatedly that she wanted the county vaccination rate to be at 50% and for there to be fewer than 100 new COVID cases per day.
The latest numbers from the county show that as of June 23, 39.8% of the total Marion County population are vaccinated. The state’s dashboard, which measures against the population who is eligible for the vaccine, is reporting 48.6% vaccinated. The latest seven-day average for COVID-19 cases stands at 30 cases according to the MCPHD website.
Even the idea of Marion County fully reopening has residents feeling optimistic.
“The business aspect, I think, it is going to start booming again,” said Jabrille Abdel-Halim, who just moved to Marion County from Knox County.
As for what people are looking forward to the most when restrictions are lifted, that varied person to person.
“I was looking more forward to the musical events and how all of that was going to open back up. I really enjoy live music so I am hoping to experience more of that,” said Tina Meyer.
“If everything opens up that is when you know, OK party time,” said Jeremi Lacsa, who lives in Marion County.
While they are looking forward to a pre-pandemic lifestyle after a year of masks and restrictions, some are feeling a bit anxious.
“Now we can walk around, you know, do everything we used to do, but at the same time, it is scary sometimes because you don’t know if that person or this person is vaccinated,” said Lacsa.
While it is not clear yet what the decision will be, residents don’t think an extension of the restrictions will be received well.
“They would be angry, I will tell you that, they would be angry. They would maybe protest a little,” said Lacsa.
Caine also says she has a goal of reaching 80% “protective immunity,” meaning 80% of residents are either fully vaccinated or have already had COVID-19.
Tuesday’s news conference with city and county officials is expected to start at 2 p.m.