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Tippecanoe County Health Department To Meet With County Commissioners Following Legislative Override

Lafayette Brewing Company’s bar area in May 2020 (WBAA News/Emilie Syberg)";

Tippecanoe County’s remaining COVID-19 restriction appears to have been voided after the state legislature overruled Governor Holcomb on Monday, enacting a bill that requires health orders stricter than the state’s to receive approval through local governments.


Health officials have warned the legislation could slow their response to health emergencies like COVID-19.

In West Lafayette, the local mask ordinance is expected to stay in place at least until June because it was created with the support of the city council. 

President of the City Council Peter Bunder said the order won’t change much for the city. 

“We’re happy to go along with whatever Dr. Adler says and if he wants to offer a suggestion that we think might be a mandate we would do that,” he said.

Mayor John Dennis said the West Lafayette mask mandate was in line with the legislature’s veto override because the mandate “is all about elected officials making the decision.”

“I think for each community to do its own evaluation and be able to implement a program or choose not to implement a program that is suitable for that community allows government and local leadership to have that interaction and make sure they are making the right decision,” he said. 

Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler said he’s disappointed by the override. 

“This is not the outcome we wanted but we will adapt and move forward,” he said. “Health departments have become used to rolling with the punches, especially during the pandemic.”

Adler said the legislation could cause problems if local elected officials don’t want to enact what health departments recommend. 

“That could interfere with public health measures that really are designed to protect the health and safety of everyone in the community,” he said.

Dr. Adler is expected to meet with Tippecanoe County Commissioners later this week to discuss approval of a health order around restaurant and bar capacity and iron out how a health order appeals process will work locally.