Allen County restaurants and bars must continue operating at 50% capacity through the remainder of January after the Allen County health commissioner renewed the local public health order due to the continued widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

“As we expect Allen County to again shift to the state’s red category this week, we believe ongoing limits are needed in spaces where spread is more likely,” health commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter said in the announcement. “We ask our community to please continue being vigilant with public health measures that work to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

Red status is given to counties that with 200 or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and a seven-day positivity rate of 15%. A county's status is updated each Wednesday. 

The full Allen County public health order, which goes into effect at midnight Jan. 13, can be viewed at www.allencountyhealth.com/covid-19. It's set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Jan. 31.

According to Allen County's daily numbers released Jan. 12, another six Allen County residents died and 202 tested positive for COVID-19. That brings the number of deaths to 518, with a total of 31,037 COVID-19 cases in the county. Allen County's 7-day positivity rate, for all tests taken Dec. 30-Jan. 5, was 15.5% on Jan. 12.

The order mirrors limits on social gatherings and events laid out in Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-50 and extended through Executive Order 20-53. It also continues capacity limits in restaurants, bars and fitness centers depending on the county’s status in the color-coded categories outlined in previous local orders. 

While the county is in the red category according to state metrics, all social gatherings and events are limited to no more than 25 people under Executive Order 20-53. Under the local order, bars, restaurants and fitness centers are required to operate at 50% capacity with other safety protocols outlined in the order in place. Bar seating is closed and customers must be able to socially distance, a set distance of 6 feet has been established. And collegiate and professional sports organizers seeking spectator attendance at sporting events not already defined in the governor’s order must submit a safety plan to the Allen County Department of Health for approval at least seven days in advance.

The county will not move back to less restrictive levels outlined in the orders until the color-coded metrics remain in that state category for two consecutive weeks.

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