TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLF) – Restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Tippecanoe County will soon have local authorizations that they need to adhere to. The Tippecanoe County Health Department announced the new mission on Wednesday during its bi-weekly press conference.
Governor Eric Holcomb has made it clear that local health departments and municipalities can enforce their own rules during this pandemic. We saw this a few weeks ago when West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis created a masking mission for the city.
This new mission is how the Tippecanoe County Health Department takes the initiative as Purdue students move back to town. If the governor chooses to move the state to phase 5 of his Back on track Indiana plan, this assignment in Tippecanoe County will replace the phase 5 plan for food and beverage facilities. This is the first mission given by the health department that potentially contradicts a state mandate.
Starting Friday, August 14, all restaurants will operate at 75% capacity. All bars and clubs will operate at 50% capacity. There will be service on the table only and no bar service. All dance floors will be closed, and all restaurants, bars and clubs will close at midnight. This also includes non-alcoholic facilities and 24-hour driving through services offered at some fast food restaurants.
The catalyst for this mission was Purdue students returning to West Lafayette. However, County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler said it is important that the rules be the same for everyone in the county, regardless of location.
“To be fair, it should be applicable to all restaurants and bars in the district,” he said. “Purdue students have easy access to a restaurant or bar in the district and not just sponsor restaurants and bars right around campus.”
West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski both voiced their support.
“It was the right thing for the right reasons at the right time,” Mayor Dennis said. “I couldn’t be more excited about it and I couldn’t support it more enthusiastically.”
Mayor Roswarski said: “I think it’s a good move and we will have to continue to monitor the numbers and be able to adapt and make decisions as we go,” Mayor Roswarski said.
There is currently no expiration date for this quest. Dr. Adler said they are looking at daily data for correction.
Dr. Adler also explains the execution and punishment part of this assignment. Establishments that violate the order on the first violation will be given a written warning, a fine for the second violation, and the third will have their license revoked.
Purdue University spokesman Tim Doty also sent News 18 a statement on behalf of the university in support.
“We strongly support the Tippecanoe County Health Department’s updated guidance for local bars and facilities. Like Mayor Dennis’s masking mission, Dr. Adler’s command may play a role. is important in limiting the incidence of COVID-19 and allowing our communities to return towards full economic and social life as soon as possible. “