Aligning Monroe County with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent guidance, the county's health officer has rescinded the previous health order as of Monday, May 17. The City of Bloomington also rescinded its health order, effective May 17.
This means that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask or stay socially distant from others in most instances, whether inside or out.
Masks may still be advised for people with certain health conditions, such as being immunocompromised, so those with concerns should check with their doctor. The CDC says that people who are not vaccinated should still wear a face covering and remain socially distant from others, except where required by federal, state or local rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Businesses and organizations can continue to require face coverings and physical distancing if they choose.
The Monroe County Board of Health will meet on Wednesday, May 19 to assess data and consider further updates or changes. That meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
For more information, visit the City of Bloomington's COVID-19 site at https://bloomington.in.gov/covid-19, or the Monroe County Health Department COVID-19 site here.
The Monroe County Health Department is distributing signs reminding the public that a mask mandate is still in effect at least through May 28.
Face coverings are required in public, as is maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. Private gatherings are limited to 50 people in Monroe County outside of Bloomington, and limited to 15 people in the City of Bloomington.
The current public health order, which took effect on April 7, remains in place until May 28. Confusion has arisen because some other parts of the state have lifted these regulations.
Monroe County officials hope that businesses and other organizations will place the signs prominently. Click here and here to download the signs. The signs are also available in Spanish here and here.
Friends of Lake Monroe's Maggie Sullivan briefed Monroe County Council on the development of a watershed management plan at the council's March 23 work session.
The project is creating a plan of action for addressing water quality goals by identifying problems and solutions with the watershed, a 440-square-mile area around Lake Monroe. Built in 1964 as a reservoir, Lake Monroe is the largest lake in Indiana and the primary water source for this region.
Click here to watch the presentation on CATS.
The Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute presented a report to Monroe County Commissioners about this area's climate resilience.
The Hoosier Resilience Index is a survey to help local governments understand how prepared they are for the impacts of climate change. The main impacts are increases in extreme heat and extreme precipitation. The most vulnerable populations, including low-income and minority residents, will be the first to feel the impacts, according to researchers Andrea Webster and Zach Richardson.
Watch the presentation at the commissioners' March 24 working session here. A written report is forthcoming.
The Monroe County Board of Health has approved increasing the size limits of gatherings to 50 people, as long as the county stays in the "yellow" COVID-19 status. That status is determined by the State of Indiana's Guidelines by Color. Previously, the county limited gathering size to 25.
The local rules, approved by the Board of Health on Feb. 2, are still stricter than the state guidelines. Under state rules, counties that are in the "yellow" status can have gatherings up to 100 people.
Monroe County differs from state guidelines in several other ways as well. Click here to read the latest Monroe County health order.
The Monroe County Board of Health announced new updates to its regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, to take effect at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
In addition to the updates, the board announced that Monroe County will follow Gov. Eric Holcomb's Executive Order 20-48, but with added restrictions for each color-coded level. Those levels are based on the average of scores for these two metrics: 1) weekly number of cases per 100,000 residents, and 2) the 7-day positivity rate for all tests. As of the week of Nov. 16, Monroe County is in the Orange level.
Click here to read the new Monroe County Board of Health updates.
The Hoosier Safe Six campaign, a collaboration led by the Chamber, kicked off a community-wide effort to keep Bloomington and Monroe County healthy, safe and open. The initiative was launched as Indiana University students return to town amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19.
The campaign includes customizable graphics that businesses and organizations can use, a "real talk" roommate discussion guide, and the Hoosier Safe Six Pledge to support the community.
The effort is a collaboration with the Chamber, Indiana University, Ivy Tech Bloomington, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County Health Department, Monroe County Community School Corporation and Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation.
Effective Friday, Aug. 21 at noon, private gatherings in the City of Bloomington are limited to 15 people. Mayor John Hamilton issued the executive order imposing the change, as part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 as Indiana University students return to town.
A Monroe County Public Health order, which took effect July 22, has limited private gatherings to 50 people. That remains in effect.
The mayoral order applies only within the City of Bloomington, including the IU campus. It remains in effect indefinitely.
Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statewide mandate for wearing face coverings on July 23, to take effect Monday, July 27.
The order is intended to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Monroe County health officials had previously issued a health order to take effect July 31, that included mandatory face coverings and other requirements. The mayor of Bloomington subsequently moved to implement that order earlier in the City of Bloomington, effective July 23.
The governor's order would make it a Class B misdemeanor if you fail to wear a face covering under certain conditions. Class B misdemeanors carry possible fines of up to $1,000 and a possible sentence of up to 6 months in jail.
Read the governor's executive order 20-37 here. Read more about local requirements here.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy