Bloomington mayor signs order to accelerate county order’s requirements on gatherings


BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton signed an executive order Monday to accelerate the implementation of several aspects of the Monroe County Public Health Order within Bloomington city limits.

Executive Order 20-02 will make effective the county order’s requirements relating to the size of gatherings at private and public events as well as in bars and restaurants on July 23 at noon instead of July 31 at noon.

The requirements, as stated in the county order, are as follows: 

  • Private or non-commercial gatherings in the city must be limited to 50 people (and include physical distancing and face coverings, with exceptions).
  • Gatherings at public or commercial venues in the city must be limited to 100 people indoors, or 150 people outdoors (with similar distancing and face covering requirements).
  • Service at bars, nightclubs and restaurants is limited only to those seated at tables that shall be physically distanced from each other. Bar-top service is not permitted.  Establishments are required to
    • space groups at least six feet apart,
    • limit party size to ten people,
    • increase air ventilation to maximum capacity; 

& are encouraged to use outdoor seating as much as possible. (Physical distancing and face covering requirements are also in effect in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.)

Bloomington officials say enforcement may be based on random visits or complaints, and may include “closing the establishment if it fails to demonstrate compliance.”

Social gatherings are expected to comply with these requirements as well, and enforcement may include dispersal or ending of the gathering as needed, according to city officials.

The county order’s provision requiring that face coverings be worn in public went into effect Friday.

“Our top priority has to remain protecting public health, and we’ve learned that moving with speed can make a difference. I appreciate that accelerating these new protocols may cause some hardship to some of us, but I would simply emphasize that we are battling a deadly and difficult virus,” said Mayor Hamilton.

“We must take the common-sense steps that minimize the risks of a dramatic resurgence here locally. We will continue to listen to health experts and follow the science to help our community weather this challenge. I hope we won’t experience such setbacks as require more changes, but we have to be ready to take whatever steps will protect our community.” 

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