Indiana’s Stay-at-Home Order

On March 23, 2020, Governor Eric Holcomb issued an executive order telling Hoosiers to stay at home. The goal here is to encourage as many people as possible to self-isolate in hopes of flattening the curve and preventing unmanageable coronavirus outbreaks.

Believe it or not, Executive Order 20-08 actually goes so far as to impose social distancing requirements, including the instruction that everyone should cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbows or sleeves, and not with their hands. You know things have gotten weird when the governor’s telling us where to sneeze. 

This order is both wide-ranging and full of exceptions. It’s a 10-page order telling people to stay at home, but more than half of its pages are spent listing all of the contexts and situations where people are still allowed to leave the house. 

The short version is: Forget about going anywhere that’s fun. We’re talking theaters, museums, music venues, and even amusement parks. No matter where it is—it’s closed. Parks are still open, but playgrounds are not, so before you go for a walk, prepare yourself for the depressing sight of abandoned swing sets.

One big point from the governor’s order is that child visitation arrangements are not affected by any of the emergency measures. Travel mandated by a court order is deemed essential, so if you’re required to transport a child pursuant to a custody agreement, you’re allowed to do so.

You can also leave the home to care for family and loved ones, including elderly and disabled folks, and even pets. We’re all still allowed to shop for necessities like medicine, toiletries, and food.

Although much of our economy is currently paralyzed, Governor Holcomb’s order lists at least 28 different essential businesses and operations that are categorically exempt from the instruction to stay at home, which includes exceptions for jobs as diverse as plumber, dry cleaner, nanny, custodian, and attorney. 

For now, however, the game plan is to stay in and self-isolate as much as possible. Today’s motto: STAY IN BED TO CONTROL THE SPREAD!