Hamilton County doesn’t plan to shut down, may need to make ‘tough choices’


The Hamilton County Commissioners and mayors of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield met Nov. 9 to discuss ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting occurred even before Gov. Eric Holcomb announced new restrictions during a Nov. 12 news conference.

Commissioners Christine Altman, Mark Heirbrandt and Steve Dillinger supported Holcomb’s mandate, but they also warned that additional restrictions may be needed.

“Things have gotten serious. We’re concerned,” Heirbrandt stated. “People have really let their guards down in recent months. We need everyone to take more personal responsibility for their actions and follow the course set by our county and state health departments.”

Heirbrandt said although it isn’t the county’s intention to “shut things down again,” officials may take action if cases continue to rise.

“With the way the numbers are rising, we may have to make some tough choices,” he stated. “We all need to double down on our efforts to reverse the trends we’re seeing.”

Holcomb’s new restrictions went into effect Nov. 15.  They are based on the state’s color-coded map showing viral spread. Hamilton County’s color is orange, which means it is experiencing moderate to high spread. Under the new orders, counties in orange must limit social gatherings to no more than 50 people; limit attendance at winter indoor K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular events to 25 percent capacity; reduce capacity in common areas and break rooms; limit attendance to community recreational sports leagues and tournaments to participants, required personnel and parents/guardians and; require a safety plan be submitted to the local health department for special, seasonal or commercial events for more than 50 people.

Holcomb also said the state will make $20 million available to local governments to support mitigation efforts. Hamilton County is making plans to secure some of that funding.

For more, visit hamiltoncounty.in.gov.