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Tipp. Co. Health Department Modifies Restaurant Order, Allowing Bartop Service

Emilie Syberg

The Tippecanoe County Health Department will now permit restaurants and bars to offer bartop service until 9 p.m., modifying an August order that banned bartop service completely.

The rest of the order remains the same, including a restriction that closes those establishments at midnight. 

Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler said changing the midnight guideline was still under consideration as the health department monitors county COVID-19 data. More broadly, he called the order “proactive, not reactive.”

“We felt that it would be very beneficial to our community to put these measures in place now, so that we can prevent a significant increase in COVID-19, and -- importantly -- keep our businesses open,” Adler said. 

Adler said no large outbreaks had yet been traced to a county bar or restaurant. 

“That’s one of the reasons for having an order like this, is to prevent that from happening,” Adler said. 

Adler said a more Purdue-centered health order had been considered -- with the possibility of a boundary where restrictions would apply -- but that ultimately wasn’t feasible. 

“I think that what we know from data from around the country -- around the world -- is that restaurants and bars are potential hot spots for COVID transmission,” Adler said. “And so I think putting these measures in place in all of our establishments throughout the county is going to help not just the Purdue community, but also our community as a whole.” 

Protect Purdue Health Center chief medical officer Dr. Esteban Ramirez said most of Purdue’s current COVID-19 cases were still emerging from congregate living situations, not from parties, including about 27 Greek and cooperative houses with positive cases. Six of those houses are currently under a “larger scale” quarantine, though Ramirez said three of those quarantines are due to conclude this week.  

“The trends that we’re seeing overall -- I think we’re starting to see a little more  stability,” Ramirez said. “It’s still too early to say that what we’re seeing on a daily basis is going to remain constant -- we still see a little bit of an uptick. But I think we’re starting to see a trend, and if you look at our dashboard you see that the numbers are starting to level out at a particular percentage rate.” 

Purdue’s Wednesday COVID-19 update reported a seven-day testing positivity rate of 2.92% between Sept. 1 and Sept. 7. 298 students and 21 employees have tested positive for coronavirus since Aug. 1, with an overall testing positivity rate of 2.54%. 

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 24 new COVID-19 cases in Tippecanoe County Wednesday.