Bloomington city hall now officially closed due to COVID-19

In a press release issued late Tuesday afternoon, the city of Bloomington announced that city hall, on Morton Street in downtown, is now closed to visitors.

The move is part of several measures being taken on the local, state and national levels to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus.

Bloomington’s closure of city hall is based on Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s order, issued on Monday, that orders citizens to stay at home and that government activity be limited to “essential government functions.”

The city hall building no longer needs to be accessible to the public to attend public meetings, due to another order issued by the governor on Monday,  which allows a public body to meet, even if no member of the body is physically present. The public has to be allowed access to the teleconference or videoconference.

According to the press release, parks and trails are still to be open to visitors from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, but playgrounds and workout stations are off limits. According to the press release, they’ll be will be marked off with caution tape and signs.

As of late afternoon Tuesday, the playground areas of Switchyard Park were not yet marked off. Bloomington’s deputy mayor, Mick Renneisen, told The Square Beacon that parks staff had started on the task of marking off the city’s 26 playground facilities, but had not yet reached Switchyard Park.

The press release states that “city government continues to deliver core services including public safety, water and wastewater treatment and supply, transit, street maintenance, sanitation, and public housing.” City Staff who work in the field continue to do so, while those who can work remotely have been able and encouraged to do that already for the last two weeks, according to the release.

According to the press release, city workers who can’t do their regular job because of the reduction in operations are being temporarily reassigned within the city. The press release says that all regular full- and part-time city workers will continue to be paid during the period of the governor’s stay-at-home order.