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City of Meridian implements social distancing order

Posted at 12:41 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 19:53:36-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The City of Meridian would like to thank Meridian community for their support and willingness to work together during this unprecedented time. During this time it is imperative that our society is taking personal responsibility for the decisions they make about where they go, what they do, and who they do it with.

Under authority provided by Idaho Code section 50-606 and Meridian City Code section 4-3-3, Mayor Simison has ordered all indoor and outdoor venues and events in Meridian, including restaurants, bars, and entertainment establishments to implement procedures ensuring a minimum of six feet of distance between parties of ten or less visiting the premises. The social distancing order is effective on March 21, 2020, at 12 a.m. and will remain in effect for fifteen days, through April 4, 2020. Mayor Simison will continue to re-evaluate the scope and duration of the order based on recommendations from Central District Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

The order does not impact take-out, delivery, and curbside pickup services, and those efforts are encouraged. Venues providing critical services, such as grocery stores and food banks are exempt from the order. Residents are reminded to use self-awareness and follow CDC guidelines at all times, particularly when visiting a venue or event open to the public.

“Given that increased and sustained testing is occurring I am ordering increased social distancing measures following CDC guidance. Any decision involving a business’ daily operations will impact the livelihood of business owners and their employees,” said Mayor Simison, "These decisions are not made lightly or without strong consideration of many factors.”

The City of Meridian’s decision to enforce social distancing is based on guidelines set forth by the CDC and Central District Health. Businesses that are unable to comply with the order set by Mayor Simison are ordered to close. Businesses that do not comply, but continue to operate, will be in violation of the order, which is a misdemeanor penalty.

“With health officials estimating that COVID-19 will impact our nation for an extended period of time, we want to allow businesses to safely operate for as long as possible,” said Simison, “I appreciate the effort, creativity and ingenuity of many local business owners that have already taken steps to ensure a safe environment.”

The signed order can be viewed here.