The Fulton County Health Department released a notice Friday in an effort to clarify Indiana law and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive orders regarding food service to protect the public from COVID-19.

“Fulton County Health Department understands this is a trying time for all within the community. COVID-19 has not only disrupted our daily lives, but also financially for individuals and businesses, our hearts go out to all involved,” a health department press release states. “Unfortunately, there has been a lot of confusion regarding Indiana Law and Governor Holcomb’s Executive Orders as they pertain to Food Service Establishments.”

Below is clarification from the Fulton County Health Department attorney, Andy Perkins.

Paragraph 6 of Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-04, labeled Food Service Establishments, notes that any establishment with in-dining services is required to close to “in-person patrons” but may still provide drive-thru, take-out and delivery services. The phrase “in-person patrons” encompasses more than merely those who would dine inside the establishment, but includes those congregating inside a building or structure awaiting a take-out order.

The Fulton County Health Department is justified to take any enforcement action authorized by statute to enforce the governor’s executive order.

The following are additional clarifications about how restaurant establishments should be doing business:

Restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs/organizations, lodges, wine tastings, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, etc. are required to close to in-person patrons. They may provide take-out and delivery.

Only employees are allowed in the restaurant establishment. Nonemployees are not allowed inside the establishment, period.

Orders are to be placed by phone, text, or online methods prior to arriving.

Pickup and delivery may only take place outside of the establishment. No public entry is permitted.

The health department also provides the following additional clarifications for nonessential gatherings:

No groups or gatherings of more than 10 people. Again, nonessential gatherings (organizations, auctions, meetings that are public/nonpublic, etc.)

Social distancing should be at least 6 feet apart while out in public or in gatherings of 10 people or less.

– The Sentinel report

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