'Get Back to Blue' initiative in Madison, Indiana

MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) -- A small town in southern Indiana is hoping to make a big difference in the fight against COVID-19. 

Madison, Indiana, launched an initiative called "Get Back to Blue," referring to the color-coded state metric map for COVID-19 spread. 

"We're teeter-tottering right now between orange and red, which are the two most severely impacted designations and that's frankly what the entire state is seeing," said Madison Mayor Bob Courtney.

He's encouraging businesses and individuals to get behind this Get Back to Blue initiative to help keep the town safe, but also keep the economy going.

"Keeping our community safe translates to a lot of benefit for us because Governor Holcomb's executive order with regards to restrictions on business is really dictated by what our status is as a county," said Courtney. 

Under recently added COVID-19 restrictions, Governor Holcomb said public gatherings in orange counties will be limited to 50 people while those in red counties will be cut to 25.

The state launched an initiative months ago called the Hoosier Hospitality Promise, encouraging businesses to sign up and commit to keeping guidelines and safety a priority. As part of this Get Back to Blue plan, Courtney is making a big push to get local businesses to take part. 

"There is a way for all of these partnerships to work together for safe shopping, safe travel, safe tourism," he said.

Sandy Palmer is the co-owner of Madison Vineyards Estate Winery and Bed & Breakfast. Over the summer, she signed her business up for the Hoosier Hospitality Promise. 

"We wanted to make people feel safe," she said. "This was another way of letting people know that we were taking it seriously and we were taking the guidelines."

Palmer said the state also sent her information to help her navigate running a business during this time.

"So it was for the customers but also for myself and making sure I was doing the things I could do to make myself safe and our guests safe," she said. 

Palmer said she's happy to see Madison backing this state program and creating city initiatives which will be announced in the coming weeks to fight back against COVID-19. 

"It's a good thing for our local hospitals, it's a good thing for tourism, it's a good thing for everything," she said.

If you own an Indiana business wanting to sign up for the Hoosier Hospitality Promise, or an individual wondering which businesses have already made the commitment, click here

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