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Huntington bars, venues can now resume live music

Huntington Mayor Richard Strick

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WPTA21) - Live music and karaoke may resume in Huntington thanks to an updated executive order from the mayor.

Mayor Richard Strick signed an executive order last week allowing venues within city limits to resume karaoke and live music once the owner has taken steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Indiana continues to show improvements in slowing spread of COVID-19

The order calls for owners of bars and venues that want to host live music and karaoke must have a safety plan that is approved by the Huntington building inspector, fire marshal and the county's public health officer.

Back in November 2020, Mayor Strick signed an executive order that put in place stricter restrictions on top of statewide COVID-19 restrictions.

The new executive order amends the previous order.

READ MORE: Huntington allows police to enforce mask mandate with fines

Mayor Strick said this update came after speaking with local bar owners and the health commissioner.

“Health and safety continue to be our top priority,” Mayor Strick said. “With the right protocols in place, the risk of spreading COVID-19 during activities like singing and live music can be reduced. The owners of these venues are taking good steps to protect their customers and staff.”

All other restrictions in the previous order remain in effect, like capacity limits and the mask mandate.

Huntington County’s current status is “orange,” meaning the Indiana State Department of Health has determined COVID-19 to be spreading at moderate to high levels in the community.

Since Feb. 1, Huntington County has averaged more than 18 new COVID-19 cases per day.

Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Pflieger attributes a number of new cases to workplace settings, and several can be traced to public locations such as grocery stores, restaurants, bars and gyms.

Dr. Pflieger said it is critical to wear masks, follow social distancing guidelines and practice good hand hygiene in workplace environments and all public settings. When possible, he added, it is safer to use online ordering for groceries and other necessities.

“We are trying to decrease the risk in all of these environments to allow for as much normal life as possible,” Dr. Pflieger said. “We know how a positive case can ripple through workplaces and families and the community. Your behavior can cause an infection in someone without them wanting it.”

There has been a cumulative total of 3,240 positive cases in Huntington County since the pandemic’s onset, and 74 residents have died from COVID-19.

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