HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WOWO): New restrictions that correspond to Indiana’s Coronavirus map have been announced for the City of Huntington, as local officials continue to grapple with increasing COVID-19 cases.
New support and resources were announced by officials as well, which should help individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“We are taking these steps to protect our community, our residents and our hospitals, which are experiencing capacity issues and shortages of doctors and nurses as they experience COVID-19 infection,” Huntington Mayor Richard Strick said.
Strick announced measures the City of Huntington will implement, effective immediately, during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Etna Avenue fire station. Individuals and businesses may receive a written warning for a first offense, with escalating penalties for each subsequent citation.
Wearing masks in public spaces is required at all levels of the city’s plan, as is six feet of distance between members of different households. Businesses must have an approved COVID-19 Health Plan on file with the Huntington County Health Department and are advised to display signage that masks are required and provide service only to customers who mask up.
The measures announced Tuesday are tied directly to the Indiana State Department of Health’s color-coded metrics map based on the prevalence and spread in our community. The map can be found at coronavirus.in.gov.
As the prevalence goes up or down, the measures adjust accordingly.
“After reviewing the data with the county Health Department, Health Board members and the county health officer, these are the next steps we will be taking,” Strick said.
- Restaurants, bars and gyms may operate at 25 percent indoor capacity and 50 percent outdoor capacity. Daily customer attendance logs must be kept at these locations and held for 30 days. Bar seating, live music and karaoke are not allowed.
- Social gatherings and events are limited to 25 people or 25 percent venue capacity, whichever is fewer.
- All recreational sports leagues will be canceled.
‘Orange’ Status (Currently applies to Huntington)
- Restaurants, bars and gyms may operate at 50 percent indoor capacity and 100 percent outdoor capacity. Live music and karaoke are not allowed. Bar seating is limited to 25 percent.
- Social gatherings and events are limited to 50 people or 50 percent venue capacity, whichever is fewer.
- Recreational sports leagues may continue with up to two spectators allowed for each participant.
- Restaurants, bars and gyms may operate at 75 percent indoor capacity and 100 percent outdoor capacity. Live music and karaoke are not allowed. Bar seating is limited to 25 percent capacity.
- Social gatherings and events are limited to 100 people or 75 percent venue capacity, whichever is fewer.
- Recreational sports leagues may continue at 25 percent spectator capacity.
- Restaurants, bars and gyms may operate at 100 percent indoor and outdoor capacity. Live music and karaoke are not allowed. Bar seating is limited to 50 percent capacity.
- Social gatherings and events are limited to 250 people or 100 percent venue capacity, whichever is fewer.
- Recreational sports leagues may continue with 50 percent spectator capacity.
‘Making Space Initiative’ and Support for Businesses
The City of Huntington is committed to supporting local businesses through this challenging time.
The city’s “Making Space Initiative” gives the city the ability to help restaurants and bars create outdoor seating and prioritize carry-out service. Businesses with parking lots may also apply to convert these spaces into outdoor vendor locations, and business grants will be made available to install awnings and outdoor heating units.
Support for Residents
The City of Huntington and the United Way of Huntington County have partnered with Livinguard to provide better, more comfortable masks to Huntington County residents, local non-profits and community partners. The masks are available to residents through a generous 1:1 match from Livinguard.
Residents who request them will be provided Livinguard masks at no additional cost through the city’s current order. Donations to the Huntington County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund are suggested for those who are able. Mask supplies are limited, and residents may provide sizing and quantity information at https://forms.gle/QhNRtE1bXjSAvDWt8.
Additional volunteers and staff will be recruited and trained to support contact tracing efforts. Volunteers also will be recruited to support individuals under quarantine or self-isolation through contactless delivery of groceries and other necessities.