Indianapolis warns fines coming for virus rules violations

Indianapolis businesses not following the city’s coronavirus restrictions will face a greater chance of fines as officials said Tuesday that they will ramp up enforcement. Increased enforcement comes as Indiana reported its highest COVID-19 daily death count in two months Tuesday — 25 fatalities, including five in Marion County.

Bars and nightclubs will remain closed in the city as Marion County Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine said those ages 20-29 represented the fastest-growing age group for new COVID-19 infections during July.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said several businesses flouted the city’s rules on crowd sizes, distancing and face masks over the weekend. In one instance, the Indianapolis Speedrome race track on the city’s east side was issued a $1,000 fine for exceeding the 25% capacity limit on Saturday.

“The time for warnings is over,” Hogsett said.

Health department inspectors will begin issuing $1,000 fines against violators, Caine said.

“We take this seriously. We know that we’ve got to step up our enforcement,” Caine said. “The education and the warning period is over.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statewide face mask mandate that took effect July 27 but has left enforcement to state and county health departments.

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