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Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington reduces gathering size limit to 15 people starting Friday

A Bloomington order, which went into effect noon Friday, lowered the size limit of non-commercial gatherings within city boundaries from 50 to 15, according to a press release.

IU Provost Lauren Robel joined Mayor John Hamilton in a joint statement Friday urging compliance with the emergency executive order. This order comes while IU is investigating a large, off-campus gathering that occurred Wednesday.

Students can report violations of existing county orders by calling 812-803-6360, the Monroe County Health Department’s hotline, according to the press release. 

People should report violations of the new private gathering size limit, to the Bloomington Police Department at 812-339-4477. IU students can also use the COVID-19 violation form, according to the release.

Repercussions for students not following the rules will be issued quickly, according to the release.

“When students violate the responsibility statement that they signed before they came back to campus, that gives us the authority then to provide the summary suspensions from the university,” Kirk White, IU assistant vice president for strategic partnerships, said during a Friday press conference.

He said that can mean suspension or loss of scholarships or financial aid money. 

“Those often require you to be in good standing with the university,” White said. “Many of them are awarded by the university, and we’re not going to be shy about canceling those scholarships if you’re not in good standing with us.”

The change was a step in the right direction for protecting the IU community, White said. He said the university will work with the IU Police Department and Bloomington Police Department to enforce the order.

People who attend gatherings must also comply with the county’s rules for physical distancing and face covering, according to the release.

IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said the limit will not extend to classes since those are not private gatherings. 

In the statement, Robel and Hamilton said the large gatherings seen in the past few days could jeopardize in-person learning and threaten the health and stability of the community.

“Bloomington as we know and cherish it depends on compliance with this new order, with county and state regulations for gatherings and physical distancing, and with IU’s own guidelines,” Robel and Hamilton said in the release.

This story was updated at 6:10 p.m. Friday to include information from a press conference and an interview with IU Spokesperson Chuck Carney.

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