City of Huntington issues new COVID-19 measures, police can issue fines

In the new executive order, capacity at bars and restaurants are limited to 50%, with bar seating currently limited to 25%. Live music and karaoke are not allowed during the time the county is in the orange status. Police can choose to punish non-mask wearers with the new executive order as well.

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 7:31 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2020 9:14 AM

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WFFT) -- Huntington County is in orange status with COVID-19, with can upward trending positivity rate according to the Indiana State Department of Health COVID dashboard

This is why Huntington Mayor Richard Strick has signed a new executive order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within city limits.

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In the new executive order, capacity at bars and restaurants are limited to 50%, with bar seating currently limited to 25%.

Live music and karaoke are not allowed during the time the county is in the orange status.

For John Stoeckly, the owner of The Country Post restaurant, he says his revenue has dropped 30% during the pandemic, and while he chose to reduce capacity to 50% earlier in the month, he's struggling.

Stoeckley explained, "Our staff depends quite heavily on our customers coming in and we're trying to juggle everything to make sure those people are taken care of as well as our customers."

To help ease the burden, the new measures include with the City is calling their "Making Space Initiative", which makes grants available to local bars and restaurants to help expand their outdoor seating with things like awnings and heaters so people can still dine out while the business prioritizes carry-out service.

The new executive order also says if someone isn't wearing a mask, police can write them a warning, with a $25 fine for the second offense. That amount goes up by $50 for each offense thereafter. Strick explains it isn't a strict enforcement. 

"Just as with any other civil infraction, our law enforcement members have complete discretion in conversations with community members on when to apply a civil infraction to an incident or not," Strick said. "There is a clear progression, as needed. We hope it won't come to that."

Stoeckley thinks the new mask orders will help, but doesn't love the idea of refusing service to non-mask wearers, as suggested by the mayor's new measures. He said, "You hate to turn people away, but that's what they want us to do and that's what we have to do."

These new restrictions are also guided by what's happening in the hospital. Parkview Huntington President Juli Johnson says critical staff are running short due to COVID-19 exposures, and it's imperitive the medical facilites are kept open.

"That's why we're just so strongly asking our community to make sure that you're masking up and following the guidelines because we need to be able to keep our people healthy so that we can care for all of the others in this community," Johnson said.

While some may not agree with the new measures, Strick says the new measures were passed by city council amd for now, the law is on his side.

"Executive orders, whether from a Mayor, Governor, or President, have the full enforcement power of the law until expired or revoked by the executive or a court deems it unlawful," Strick said.

You can view a quick guide of the new measures below. For further questions, head to the City of Huntington website.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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