West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis and Tippecanoe County Health Department Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler released a letter Friday prohibiting Breakfast Club activities Saturday, ahead of Purdue’s home football game against Northwestern University.
Breakfast Club tradition dictates an early, costumed start to the day for students at area bars on home football game days. Long lines of students formed ahead of Purdue’s home game against Iowa last month, during what Purdue President Mitch Daniels described as “not our finest moments” in a video address to students the following week.
“We had too many incidents of departures from the Protect Purdue Pledge,” Daniels said. “The vast majority of our students, yes, maintained discipline and stuck with the prescribed behaviors. But as we’ve all learned, it only takes a few bad events to cause a real problem that is university-wide.”
Dennis said that city and public health officials would be “irresponsible if we did not recognize the potential of things getting much worse, and didn’t take appropriate action to try and protect against that. Breakfast Club is an easy no. It really is. By nature of Breakfast Club, it generally encourages a lot of behavior that might not be conducive towards trying to prevent the spread of an easily transmissible virus.”
West Lafayette bars will still be open during their regular business hours, though students in costume will not be permitted to enter. An ongoing county health department order restricts local bars and restaurants to 75% of their capacity.
Tippecanoe County hit its highest confirmed one-day case count Thursday, at 208 -- the same day the state of Indiana broke its own one-day case record, with 6,654 cases reported. The county is currently in the orange stage on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 map, which means it falls under new restrictions put in place by Gov. Eric Holcomb -- including an attendance limit of 50 people for indoor and outdoor social gatherings. The new guidelines are set to begin this weekend.