BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – An emergency executive order in Bloomington limits the size of private gatherings within city boundaries to 15 people.
Mayor John Hamilton issued the order Friday; it went into effect at noon. According to the order, non-commercial gatherings are restricted to 15 people at most. The previous Monroe County Public Health Order allowed gatherings of up to 50 people.
Those attending the gatherings must follow social distancing and face covering regulations set forth by the county.
Hamilton’s order comes just days after a controversy involving Indiana University; video showed a large number of students gathered at a party. After video of the party ended up on social media, IU issued a statement saying it was looking into the matter and would discipline the students involved.
Hamilton and IU Provost Lauren Robel issued a joint statement:
Will we keep the pandemic under control in Bloomington or not?
That’s an urgent question, as tens of thousands of new and returning students join city residents and the Indiana University community in Bloomington. Our behavior over the next days and weeks will determine the answer.
After months of enormous, extensive, coordinated efforts to protect public health and prepare for a safe return to campus for IU’s students, just a few large gatherings–such as those we’ve witnessed over the past few days–could jeopardize the viability of in-person instruction and imperil the health of our residents and stability of our community.
To avoid that outcome, the City of Bloomington today is issuing an emergency executive order that limits the size of private gatherings to 15 people, from a previously permitted size of 50 people. Those attending these gatherings must also observe regulations about physical distancing and face covering. Executive Order No. 20.03, which goes into effect Friday, August 21 at noon, is available here.
Another semester is about to begin in beautiful Bloomington, but this semester is unlike any other. Bloomington as we know and cherish it depends on compliance with this new order, with county and state regulations for gatherings and physical distancing, and with IU’s own guidelines. Sanctions for students who do not adhere to IU’s COVID-19 health and safety precautions will be swift. Learn more here: https://policies.iu.edu/policies/stu-02-sanctions-noncompliance-covid19/index.html.
We know that most of our students plan to do the right thing. We ask you to let us know if something is threatening our safety–both on and off campus. If you witness a violation of existing county orders please report it at 812-803-6360. If you witness a violation of the new city private gathering size limit, please call the 24-hour Bloomington Police Department line at 812-339-4477 or report it at https://bit.ly/3aKRVJm (IU login required).
On behalf of all of us who live, work, and study in Bloomington, we remind everyone that our well-being depends on our choosing to value something greater than ourselves. Whether or not you show symptoms of COVID-19, you may be positive for it, and can be contagious. That means you might feel fine, while infecting a friend, their grandparent, a first responder, or a grocery store clerk.
The actions we take now have the gravest implications. Let’s do our best to avoid them by thinking We, Not Me.