CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Health Department has placed restrictions on bars and restaurants as COVID-19 cases increase in the community.

Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel issued an executive order Wednesday requiring restaurants to reduce capacity to 75% and for bars and barrooms to close at 10 p.m.

Both Clark and Floyd counties are now in the orange category on the state’s color-code map tracking levels of COVID-19 community spread, which indicates that the county is approaching high levels of spread. For counties in the orange category, gatherings are limited to 50 people, according to an executive order by Gov. Eric Holcomb. Red is the highest category of community spread.

Gatherings of more than 50 people must be approved in advance by the Clark County Health Department. Yazel’s executive order states that social gatherings and events in Clark County are prohibited from exceeding 50% capacity of the building/facility occupancy limits.

“The daily infection rates and hospitalizations in Clark County have driven the decision to impose more stringent requirements for restaurants, bars, social gatherings, and events,” Yazel said in a news release. “These measures are being implemented to reduce the chance of our county rising to the red metric established by the governor.

The executive order goes into effect Nov. 20 in Clark County, and it extends until at least Dec. 4.

Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris announced similar restrictions on bars and restaurants in a Tuesday executive order. Floyd County’s restrictions remain in effect until Dec. 21.

Yazel asked for vigilance as “we navigate through this challenging phase of the pandemic,” and he reminded the community to follow guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing and avoiding large gatherings to reduce disease transmission.”All these [restrictions] happening right now are just with the goal of decreasing the positivity rate in general, especially going into the Thanksgiving holiday,” he said. Yazel said he plans to work closely with local businesses to help them implement the changes.”We approach it from the side of cooperation,” he said. “We’ve already had some restaurants reach out to see, what does this look like for us...We’ve really been fortunate all along that they’ve worked with us.”

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