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The Clark County Health Department has extended through Dec. 18 an order limiting restaurants to 75% capacity and requiring bars to close at 10.

CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Health Department has extended an emergency order limiting the hours or capacity of bars and restaurants in the county through Dec. 18 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In a news release sent Thursday evening, the department outlined the restrictions — no more than 75% capacity in restaurants, and bars must close by 10 p.m. and not serve at the bar top. The previous order, announced Nov. 20, was set to expire Thursday.

The order notes that restaurants can only have up to 75% indoor capacity if social distancing is also taken into account and that physical barriers such as plexiglass between booths do not take the place of keeping a safe distance of six feet or more.

The restriction on gatherings also remains in effect to no more than 50 people which was laid out in a November announcement by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. This applies only to counties designated as orange on the state’s color-coded map showing severity of spread, as Clark County is. An exception to this number can be made if the Clark County Health Department approves a request with safety plan, submitted at least seven days before the event.

Counties designated as red, of which there are just less than 20 in the state, are limited to gatherings or 25 or less.

“Please be vigilant as we navigate through this challenging phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Clark County Health Officer Dr. Yazel said in the news release. “Following CDC guidelines such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, socially distancing and avoiding large gatherings are known to be effective tools in reducing disease transmission. Let’s work together to make the Holiday Season safer in 2020.”

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