- Associated Press - Sunday, March 22, 2020

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond is closing for a deep cleaning and disinfecting to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority posted a notice on its website announcing the temporary closure of the tourist information center located just off Interstates 80-94, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The Welcome Center will be closed until further notice, Convention and Visitors Authority spokeswoman Erika Dahl said.

The agency decided to close the center because of the growing number of people infected with the virus and the large number of people who pass through the center __ upwards of 400,000 people per year, Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Speros Batistatos said.

“They’re traveling to Chicago or coming out of Chicago or from all over the map,” he said. “We felt it was best to do our fair share to stop this from spreading. We don’t want the virus entering Northwest Indiana from our welcome center.”



The Welcome Center includes a gift shop, free travel brochures and the W. F. Wellman Exhibit Hall that has been exhibiting a colorful display of antique and classic cars.

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