BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Bloomington is trying to put an end to large gatherings in the downtown area. On Wednesday, Mayor Tari Renner signed an emergency order banning party busses.
Renner says students from Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University use the busses to go to and from bars. However, he says the problem with that, the bus is always packed with people, and most often they’re not social distancing.
The order goes back to earlier that day when Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) Illinois, addressed local elected and health officials in the state, urging them to put in place guidelines that will help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Pay close attention to the data of your communities,” he said. “Where necessary step up and impose greater mitigations on a targeted basis to slow the infection rate.”
Immediately after, an emergency order signed by city leaders in Bloomington, set out to do just that.
“I’ve signed in the executive order to make sure we don’t have party busses until September 15th,” said Mayor Renner.
Renner says the order will work a two fold because its not just about students getting on the bus.
“They get dropped off in usually our downtown to gather in groups of maybe 50-100 or more people,” he said. “That is just not acceptable for public safety.”
Renner also says the order will serve as a warning to businesses, letting them know if they too don’t enforce the rules, they could also face consequences.
“I have sent out a really clear letter unequivocally saying, that I would not hesitate to shut establishments down, in terms of pulling their liquor licenses, if they do not abide by social distancing,” said Renner.
He says the council will most likely extend the emergency order to a later date.
In addition the City Council is not ruling out a mask ordinance in the near future. Renner says study shows more people will comply if there is one in place, but the council wants to continue to monitor before issuing one.