MICHIGAN CITY — All Michigan City government buildings will be open to the general public by appointment only as of Sept. 7.

Mayor Duane Parry issued an executive order Tuesday restricting access to city facilities as a result of the recent, local surge in positive cases of the COVID-19 virus.

Those who showed up to City Hall for Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Public Works & Safety were greeted by a sign telling them the meeting had been canceled because of the closure.

All city board and commission meetings – with the exception of the Department of Water Works, Sanitary District and Port Authority – must be held virtually indefinitely, according to Parry’s executive order. Those meetings will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page, “My Michigan City, Indiana.”

City employees will continue to show up to work in person, and may be reached via phone or email should a member of the public require an appointment.

“This move is to protect City employees’ health and safety, as well as that of the public,” the mayor’s office said in a press release Tuesday.

“Mayor Parry urges members of the public to take the recent surge of the virus seriously and follow the guidelines laid out by the CDC and State of Indiana. Masks, social distancing, good hygiene and avoiding crowds and groups is key to protecting the community’s health and economy.”

Among the buildings affected by the mayor’s executive order are City Hall, Central Services, Central Maintenance and the Cemetery Department.

Some recent statistics according to Parry’s order:

As of Tuesday, the COVID-19 virus remained in every Indiana County, with more than 855,000 confirmed cases and nearly 14,000 deaths.

Out of the 5.7 million Hoosiers eligible for vaccination, only 3 million have received it, about 52.4 percent.

In a surge driven by the highly-transmissible Delta variant, the state is demonstrating a seven-day average positivity rate of 10.9 percent, up from 6.3 percent one month ago and 2.1 percent two months ago.

For the week ending Aug. 15, 981 of the 1,000 new COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital were unvaccinated; 189 of 195 COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units were unvaccinated; and 67 of 71 COVID-19 deaths were unvaccinated.

Gov. Eric Holcomb renewed the state’s public health emergency status for the 18th time on Aug. 30.

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