Bloomington order limits private gatherings to 15 people

Students walk past the newly-completed Metz Bicentennial Grand Carillon in the Cox Arboretum during the first day of spring semester classes at Indiana University Bloomington on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (Image courtesy of Indiana University)

The size of private gatherings in Bloomington is now limited to 15 people under an emergency executive order by Mayor John Hamilton that took effect immediately Friday.

The previous maximum crowd size was 50.

Hamilton issued the order after photos and videos shared on social media showed Indiana University students gathering in large groups without masks or practicing social distancing.

Hamilton urged residents to report any violations of the new order to the Bloomington Police Department.

“We know that most of our students plan to do the right thing. We ask you to let us know if something is threatening our safety — both on and off campus,” Hamilton said.

The mayor also also ordered people attending gatherings to practice social distancing and to use a face covering.

The order will remain in effect until it is rescinded.

Hamilton and Indiana University Provost and Executive Vice President of Indiana University Lauren Robel issued a joint statement.

“After months of enormous, extensive, coordinated efforts to protect public health and prepare for a safe return to campus for IU’s students, just a few large gatherings — such as those we’ve witnessed over the past few days — could jeopardize the viability of in-person instruction and imperil the health of our residents and stability of our community,” the statement said.

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