Bloomington press release: COVID-19 protocols will include curtailed large events, discretionary travel

In a press release issued late Wednesday, the city of Bloomington announced a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen the number of cases in Indiana increase to 10.

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A bottle of sanitizer was available for public commenters at the Bloomington city council’s Wednesday meeting of its climate action and resilience committee. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon) 

Prominent on the city’s approach will be “social distancing”—measures to reduce occasions when people have to gather in close proximity to each other.

According to the release, “The City will significantly reduce large in-person meetings effective March 16, including boards and commissions, special events, cabinet and other large internal meetings, and more.”

Among the events that will be rescheduled, according to the release, are the March 25 Women’s History Month Luncheon, the March 28 Women’s Leadership Summit, and the March 31 Be More Awards.

The fire department’s U.S. Department of State-sponsored trip to Sierra Leone
has been postponed, according to the release. And attendance at numerous planned conferences will be canceled, according to the release.

A meeting of the city council’s climate action and resilience committee, scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the city council chambers, was left on the calendar. About three dozen people attended.

The focus of the committee meeting was to get feedback from the public about the idea of using an increase to the local income tax to pay for climate action initiatives.

To help reduce chances for infection at the committee meeting, the council chambers balcony was left open to allow for people to spread out, and people were not be required to use a sign-in sheet. Those measures were announced beforehand in a Facebook post made Wednesday afternoon by chair of the committee, Matt Flaherty:

We are taking precautions in light of COVID-19 risks, including opening the top balcony to allow people to spread out and forgoing any sign-in sheet for public comment. However, the meeting will be broadcast on CATS and there will be future opportunities and online opportunities to offer feedback. Please be careful and prioritize your own health, and if you wish to weigh in on the Council’s consideration and discussion of a Sustainability Investment Fund, you can also do so via the form at the bottom of this FAQ page: https://bloomington.in.gov/node/4366

A meeting of the council’s administration committee, scheduled for Thursday at 3:30 p.m. was still on the website calendar as of Wednesday evening. The location of the meeting is the “council library” a small conference room located inside the council/clerk office suite at city hall.

Councilmember Sue Sgambelluri, who serves on the administration committee, attended Wednesday’s climate action and resilience committee meeting. She told The Square Beacon it’s possible that the administration committee meeting would be moved to one of the other larger conference rooms in city hall.

Administration committee member Steve Volan was on hand at the conclusion of Wednesday’s climate action meeting. He told The Square Beacon the next day’s administration committee meeting would be moved down the hall to a larger room, if there are enough people who attend.

2 thoughts on “Bloomington press release: COVID-19 protocols will include curtailed large events, discretionary travel

  1. Will the City curtail access to the City’s Twin Lakes Rec Center? To the City’s Buskirk Chumley Theatre? The Library?

    1. Lee, word from the city is that no facility-specific policies have yet been made but that things are changing quickly. And decisions on Buskirk-Chumley would be made by the BC board, not the city.

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