The Tippecanoe County Health Department issued an order Tuesday outlining new COVID-19 restrictions set to start if the county’s all-tests positivity rate equals or passes 10%.
If that metric is met, indoor restaurant capacity will be lowered to 50%, and indoor bar capacity will drop to 25% -- both will require six-foot social distancing. Outdoor bar and restaurant seating will remain at 100% capacity, with six-foot social distancing. If used, tents will need two open sides.
As long as the rate remains below 10%, indoor restaurant capacity will remain at 75%, bar capacity at 50%, and outdoor seating for both at 100%, with social distancing.
Capacity will also be lowered to 75% at retail establishments, 50% at "cultural, entertainment, and tourist venues", 50% at gyms and fitness facilities, and 50% at senior day centers.
If the all-tests positivity rate equals or passes 10%, the new requirements will remain in place until the positivity rate drops below 10% for 14 days. The Indiana State Department of Health reported an all-tests positivity rate of 9.2% for Tippecanoe County Tuesday, along with 175 new cases. The total county case tally is currently at 6,981.
In a statement -- joined by the Tippecanoe County Board of Health, the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners, and the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette -- the health department said the current spike in local COVID-19 cases is largely driven by a lack of social distancing and mask-wearing in “crowded indoor spaces,” and cited the “enormous strain” on area hospitals, healthcare providers, and school systems.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued new statewide restrictions last week for counties designated as red or orange on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 map. Tippecanoe County remained in the orange category Tuesday.
The county health department plans to review the local restrictions at a press briefing Wednesday.