Indiana’s stay-at-home order allows for outdoor recreation, governor still wants people to keep distance between each other

cropped 2020-03-26 b line IMG_9325
Looking south in Switchyard Park on Thursday, March 25, 2020. The yellow caution tape wrapped around the playgrounds and exercise stations means they’re are off limits. The B-Line Trail in the right of the frame is open for walking, running, and bicycling. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

At a 2:30 p.m. press conference on Thursday, Indiana’s governor Eric Holcomb was asked by a reporter to respond to criticism that his stay-at-home order didn’t go far enough.

The order is supposed to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has killed 17 people so far in Indiana since the first case was confirmed on March 6. Three weeks later the number of confirmed cases stood at 645.

The order, which went into effect on Wednesday, allows for a raft of exceptions, for businesses considered “essential”—including retail stores that sell alcoholic beverages and businesses that provide real estate services.

Was the order having an impact? Holcomb’s answer: Yes.

Holcomb’s response included the fact that his stay-at-home order has a requirement on the continued operation of essential businesses. They’re supposed to continue to operate only if they can maintain a six-foot distance between people, including customers standing in line, a concept that’s now called “social distancing.”

Holcomb applied the same social distancing concept to outdoor recreational activities. Allowed under the stay-at-home order are, for example, walking, hiking, running, or bicycling.

Holcomb encouraged people who go outside, especially on days like the one the day before, when skies were sunny and temperatures hit the mid-60s.

Holcomb said, “Yesterday was a great day to be outdoors, and I encourage people to get out and walk their dog.” He immediately added, “Or get out and walk their cat, if they want.” Continue reading “Indiana’s stay-at-home order allows for outdoor recreation, governor still wants people to keep distance between each other”

Alcohol sales at Switchyard Park OK’d by Bloomington park commissioners

cropped 2020-02-27 pavillion IMG_8028
Looking north towards the main pavilion and stage at Bloomington’s Switchyard Park on Feb. 27, 2020. In early spring, the area around the pavilion, and other parts of the park, will be sodded, according to director of parks and recreation Paula McDevitt. The 4-6 weeks it takes for the sod to take root will make the park ready for 2020’s season of events. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

Local alcohol beverage vendors who want to sell beer and wine at Switchyard Park will have a chance to do that on a trial basis this year.

The park, which was a $34-million project funded with tax increment finance revenue, had its grand opening last November.

At its Tuesday meeting this week, the board of park commissioners approved a proposal from parks and recreation staff to use outside vendors to sell alcohol at a limited number of Switchyard Park events in the coming 2020 season. Continue reading “Alcohol sales at Switchyard Park OK’d by Bloomington park commissioners”