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Bloomington council mulls tougher stand to boost COVID compliance

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BLOOMINGTON (HOI) - The Bloomington City Council Monday agreed to extend the city manager's order suspending the only license allowing for downtown shuttles, also known as party buses. However, the council is not ruling out stronger measures aimed preventing further spread of COVID-19.

The council voted unanimously to ban party buses another 28 days, however council member Jenn Carrillo said she would like city staffers to present an array of options to get tougher on people who don't wear face masks or practice social distancing.

Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said staff is looking at various options that might include mandatory mask use.

Carrillo said it's unfortunate everyone would be impacted by a few residents who aren't taking mitigation measures.

"I think that just the reality is the numbers in the last couple of weeks are really alarming," said Carrillo.

"I care about keeping our businesses open, but I also think probably this is the most difficult place we have been as a community, and if we need to take strong action, then even if it's unpopular, I think that's something we have to be willing to consider," Carrillo said.

Council member Donna Boelen said the focus should be on educating the public and following CDC guidelines.

"Bottom line, the hospital numbers, and the positivity numbers, and the death numbers do not, in my mind indicate that we need to have mandatory masks on 24-7," Boelen said.

Council member Scott Black said any council actions should be coordinated with Normal, and based on advise from the McLean County Health Department.

Howard Packowitz

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