All Marion County schools are supposed to be closed by March 16, and the city will restrict non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people in the wake of the new coronavirus.
Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the measures at a press conference March 12.
Public schools and mayor-sponsored charter schools were closed March 13, and the city is asking all other schools — private and parochial — to close by March 16.
Schools are tentatively scheduled to reopen April 6.
Local government will work with school districts and service providers to make sure meals continue to be available to students.
Indianapolis Public Schools will distribute meals in the parking lots of seven schools 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 13:
• George Washington High School
• Arlington Woods School 99
• Brookside School 54
• Carl Wilde School 79
• Eleanor Skillen School
• James Whitcomb Riley School 43
• Charles Warren Fairbanks School 10
Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued a 20-day waiver off of the 180 days schools are normally required to be in session. Those days don’t have to be used consecutively, and the governor’s office is encouraging schools to prepare for more long-term solutions such as implementing e-learning days and remote classrooms.
Schools will be on spring break for some of the scheduled closure.
Holcomb also banned gatherings of more than 250 people, and Hogsett said he’s directing the Marion County Public Health Department to implement those restrictions locally.
Along with those measures, Hogsett also announced the parks department has suspended all senior programming, and the city-county council is working on a way to include online engagement at meetings so people don’t have to be physically present.
Hogsett has also directed the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to issue summonses instead of making arrests for nonviolent misdemeanors. That is subject to officer discretion.
“To those who argue these policies will be disruptive,” Hogsett said, “my answer is simple. They better be. This virus and the threat it poses to our city, state, and country is massive. Left unchecked, it has the potential to wreak untold damage on our families and the very social safety net that protects our most vulnerable residents.”
Update: The Indianapolis Public Library will suspend services, programs and special events at all locations and the bookmobile after 5 p.m. March 14.
The InfoZone branch at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will close at 5 p.m. March 13.
The library's online collection is still available.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will close March 14-28. The museum staff will issue an update on whether it will reopen on or before March 28.
The reopening of Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience will be postponed, and the museum’s preschool will close temporarily. All programs and events scheduled through March 28, 2020 will be postponed.
Anyone who has purchased tickets in advance can apply the value to a ticket of equal or greater value through Dec. 31. For up-to-date information on the museum closing, childrensmuseum.org/coronavirus visit for updates and follow The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on social media.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter at @Ty_Fenwick.