The Bloomingtonian

Monroe County under face mask order beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, July 17th

Monroe County is under a face mask order beginning at 5 p.m. today, July 17, 2020, according to the Monroe County Health Department. There are some exceptions.

Here is the text of of a press release from the MCHD describing the order:

PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER

PURSUANT TO STATE AND LOCAL LAW, INCLUDING INDIANA CODE § 16-20-1-et seq.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the recent increase of new cases nationwide with a trend towards cases in a younger population, Monroe County’s increasing and dynamic population, and to
ensure that physical distancing and preventive measures vital to the mitigation of the pandemic remain in place, I hereby order as follows, effective Friday, July 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (unless otherwise stated
below, as in Paragraphs 7-9):

  1. Unless an exception as stated in Paragraph 2, below, applies, ALL individuals must wear a
    face shield, face covering, or mask (collectively referred to, hereinafter, as “face covering”)
    over their nose and mouth when in an indoor place other than their own home or the home
    of an immediate family member, or when outdoors in a situation where adequate physical
    distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible (including outdoor public gatherings). While a
    face shield is made of a harder, plastic-like material, an acceptable face covering or mask
    under this Order means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material
    that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. Persons unable to
    pay for a face covering should contact the Monroe County Health Department, the Office of
    Emergency Management, or the Office of the Monroe County Commissioners and one will
    be supplied at no cost. This face covering requirement generally applies in all situations
    below, unless specifically and explicitly exempted below.
  2. This requirement does not apply to the following exceptions provided they are factually and
    legitimately applicable to an individual:
    a. Children who are two years of age or younger.
    b. Individuals who are hearing or speaking impaired and for whom a face covering is
    an obstacle to communication.
    c. Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering for a documented physical,
    medical, or health-related reason.
    d. Individuals in a hospital, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, or other health care facility,
    in circumstances where wearing a face covering would be an impediment to
    receiving proper care, as designated by the healthcare provider.
    e. Individuals who are alone in a room in a public building, such as in an office.
    f. Individuals who are traveling in personal vehicles.
    g. Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would present a risk to their safety
    while at work, as determined by local, state, or federal workplace safety
    regulations.
    h. Individuals who are incarcerated.

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i. Individuals who are engaged in a form of indoor exercise that is incompatible with wearing a face covering, including swimming.
j. Individuals who are seated at a restaurant, bar, or other establishment that serves food and/or drink. However, individuals entering and exiting restaurants or bars, or congregating in waiting areas or common areas of restaurants or bars (including bathrooms), must wear face coverings.
k. Individuals who are engaged in outdoor physical exercise, including running, jogging, walking, bicycling, or swimming, if in groups of less than 25.
l. Bona fide emergency situations in which a person lacks the time or the means to put on a face covering before entering an indoor or outdoor public space.
Individuals who are outdoors and are maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others who are not part of their household.

  1. All businesses and public accommodations which are open to the public must ensure that all customers and/or visitors are complying with the face covering and physical-distancing requirements of Paragraph 1 above. Businesses or public accommodations that fail to
    enforce compliance with face covering and physical-distancing requirements in Paragraph 1 are subject to enforcement action, up to and including closure.
  2. When individuals must interact with one another outside their own home, including at work, and at essential and non-essential businesses, they should observe the following
    precautions:
    a. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other individuals who are not part of their own household;
    b. Wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available;
    c. Cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue that can then be disposed;
    d. Disinfect frequently used surfaces;
    e. Avoid sharing food, drinks, and utensils;
    f. Refrain from sharing office supplies and equipment (such as pens, staplers, and computer keyboards);
    g. Frequently clean communal office equipment (such as printers and copiers);
    h. Increase ventilation of indoor spaces, by opening windows or adjusting air
    conditioning, as much as possible;
    i. Hold all necessary meetings by telephone or videoconference whenever possible;
    and
    j. Refrain from shaking hands or engaging in other physical contact with the hands or face of another person.
  3. For academic and extra-curricular activities, all K-12 schools in Monroe County should follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), even if the requirements differ from those contained herein. Nothing, however, precludes schools from adopting rules or regulations consistent with these requirements.

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  1. The following businesses shall follow any and all Orders issued by the Governor of Indiana and shall also follow the requirements in Paragraph 1. The requirements in Paragraph 1 apply, despite the fact that they are more restrictive than requirements established by the
    Governor’s Orders:
    a. Shopping malls and other retail stores, including liquor stores and convenience stores;
    b. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs (see also requirements in Paragraph 9);
    c. Personal services businesses, such as salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas, massage businesses, and tattoo parlors;
    d. All religious services, indoors and outdoors;
    e. Campgrounds and youth summer day camps;
    f. Community swimming pools;
    g. Gyms, fitness centers, yoga & dance studios, and martial arts studios;
    h. Golf course facilities and golf club houses;
    i. Sports venues and raceway events;
    j. Cultural, entertainment, and tourism sites, including zoos, museums, and parks; and
    k. Conventions & conferences.
  2. Beginning July 31, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon), gathering sizes, applicable to all non-commercial events, including private gatherings or those held at a personal residence (including fraternities and sororities located in the City of Bloomington and on or off the Indiana University campus), shall be no more than fifty (50) people. Any person or organization may apply to the Monroe County Health Department for an exemption from the gathering size limit. The application for the exemption is attached to this Order as Exhibit A. The Health Department will only approve an exemption if the applicant demonstrates that the gathering allows for appropriate physical distancing and use of face coverings. Face covering and physical distancing requirements in Paragraph 1 apply to
    these gatherings.
  3. Beginning July 31, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon), gathering sizes, applicable to all commercial gatherings or those held at venues that are, in the normal course of business, offered to the general public for rent or use, shall be no more than one hundred (100) people, if the
    gathering is held inside or one hundred fifty (150) people if the gathering is held outside.
    Any person or organization may apply to the Monroe County Health Department for an exemption from the gathering size limit. The application for the exemption is attached to this Order as Exhibit A. The Health Department will only approve an exemption if the
    applicant demonstrates that the gathering allows for appropriate physical distancing and use of face coverings. Face covering and physical distancing requirements in Paragraph 1 apply to these gatherings.
  4. Beginning July 31, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon), restaurants, bars and nightclubs must have and require table-top seating for all patrons and must require patrons to remain seated at tables, and may not have bar-top service. They must follow the following requirements:
    a. They are encouraged to use outdoor seating as much as possible.
    b. Groups of patrons must be spaced at least six (6) feet apart.
    c. Party size must be limited to ten (10) people or fewer at each table.

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d. Air ventilation should be increased to maximum capacity, or at least six (6) air
changes per hour.

  1. This Order applies on property owned by Ivy Tech and Indiana University, as long as adopted by their required authorities, but does not apply on other State-owned property. Ivy Tech and Indiana University have the legal authority to impose even stricter requirements than are imposed here.
  2. To the extent that this Order contradicts any previous Orders issued by the Monroe County Health Department, this Order replaces those existing Orders. Otherwise, this Order supplements those Orders. This Order shall be in effect until rescinded.

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