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.
Violation of the Monroe County health order now includes a possible fine of up to $500, following action by the Monroe County Board of Health.
Mandatory masks are part of a health order issued on July 17, though some requirements don't start until July 31. However, in the City of Bloomington the July 31 requirements will begin July 23 at noon, because Mayor John Hamilton signed an executive order to implement these county measures earlier:
The Board of Health's regulation takes effect at noon on Wednesday, July 22. Violating a Board of Health regulation is a Class C ordinance violation, allowing for fines of up to $500. The regulation recommends that individuals be fined $50, but only recommends that groups be fined at a higher, unspecified rate. It can be enforced by health department officials or any law enforcement officer.
The Monroe County Health Department is recruiting volunteers for the Medical Service Corps to help with local health and safety work.
Volunteers currently are being deployed to help with the COVID testing site. When a COVID vaccine is available, volunteers will be needed to help at county health clinics.
Click here for more info. To sign up, email email@example.com.
The Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corp. board approved its reopening plan on July 7, adding to the school plans already authorized in this area. R-BB's plan requires students and staff to wear face coverings, with some exceptions. Click here for the R-BB reopening plan.
The Monroe County Community School Corp. board approved its reentry plan in June. It also requires face coverings for students and staff, with exceptions. Click here for the MCCSC Reentry and Recovery Plan.
Information and updates about Indiana University's reopening are available on the IU Fall 2020 site.
Monroe County Commissioners and the Monroe County Health Department are providing free window clings for businesses and organizations to help promote wearing face masks. The Chamber is helping distribute these clings, as is Downtown Bloomington Inc.
To pick up your cling, contact the Chamber at 812-336-6381. They are also available when you pick up face masks and hand sanitizer through the Chamber's PPE program.
You can also get clings at the county courthouse square building's north door on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. til noon, and 1-5 p.m. For more information, contact the Monroe County Commissioners' office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-349-2550.
Monroe County has issued a new public health order to take effect July 4. It follows Gov. Eric Holcomb's executive order for Stage 4.5 except for these deviations that will apply to Monroe County:
Click here to read the full order.
The Monroe County Health Department has provided two sample signs that businesses can use. Click here and here.
Thanks to the generosity of Cook Medical, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is distributing face masks and hand sanitizer to local businesses and organizations in Bloomington/Monroe County.
Access to this PPE (personal protective equipment) is on a first come, first serve basis. Masks can be requested in increments of 50, up to 100 masks per week. Businesses and organizations also have the option of a one-time request for a 1-gallon bottle of hand sanitizer, made by Cardinal Spirits.
The PPE is free with a $5 handling fee per request.
Click here to make a request for PPE. More resources are posted on the Chamber's Back to Business site.
MonroeCountyCOVID-19.org is a collaborative effort of many organizations across the entire Monroe County community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The site is hosted by the Chamber and updated daily by Chamber staff.
The site provides information from federal, state and local sources about economic assistance, help for nonprofits, virtual meetings, basic services, HR and legal resources, and more. We are also gathering information on ways to give back and stories of resilience and care from our community.
We are in this together, and we are here for you. If you have suggestions for other resources to include, please click here to fill out our resource submission from. If you have any questions email email@example.com.
The Indiana Election Commission approved moving the state's primary election from May 5 to June 2, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has effectively shut down the state, nation and many parts of the world.
The commission, at its March 25 meeting, also ordered that any registered and qualified Indiana voter can vote using an absentee ballot by mail. Normally, voters must provide a specific reason for absentee voting.
These actions were enabled by Gov. Eric Holcomb's declaration of a public health disaster emergency effective March 6, 2020, in response to the pandemic.
Read the Election Commission's order here. More information on absentee voting is on the Monroe County Election Central's website.
Letter to the Bloomington/Monroe County Community from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Staff
Over the past week we’ve witnessed some amazing acts of community. Competitors joining forces. Restaurant owners scrambling to take care of employees, despite not knowing how their business will survive. Organizations and individuals banding together to support our community’s most vulnerable residents. Local coalition-building to address a global crisis that’s hitting close to home.
That gives us hope during these frightening times. Collectively, we are watching a slow-motion train wreck that we can’t easily control or stop. We don’t know what’s coming next, and that’s the most frightening feeling of all. If we knew, we could prepare. It’s easy to feel helpless.
The next few weeks – and possibly months – will be very painful for many of us, as the economic toll of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to build. At the Chamber, our priority right now is information-sharing. We are working with others to ensure the community can find resources necessary to weather this unprecedented period. Our website is gearing up to be a source of dependable information for the community, and our staff are ready to adjust roles and duties depending on what the community needs.
We are here for you. If you have a need, are struggling with a problem, or just want to vent, we are here. Please let us know how we can help.
We value all our Chamber members. But right now, our most important member is the Bloomington/Monroe County community. We are committed to providing whatever support we can to help our community survive this threat.
We will get through this because we’re capable of amazing acts of community. We witness them every day, and we know you do, too. We’re grateful to be part of such a special place.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy