Bloomington leaders take wait-and-see approach before issuing mask-wearing rule

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner. (Photo courtesy: Youtube)

By Heart of Illinois ABC

BLOOMINGTON – A mandatory mask-wearing ordinance is not in Bloomington’s immediate future, but City Manager Tim Gleason said leaders are “definitely watching” how the community responds this weekend to COVID-19 restrictions.

A mask-wearing requirement is not on Monday night’s city council agenda, and Gleason told Heart of Illinois-ABC it’s “not being strongly considered at this time.”

Mayor Tari Renner issued summons for a dozen Bloomington bars to appear Friday before the city’s liquor commission for staying open later than 11 p.m. and defying rules against indoor, on-premise alcohol consumption.

Renner, who’s also the city’s liquor commissioner, ordered the crackdown after video became viral last weekend showing no adherence to COVID guidelines, including mask wearing and social distancing.

Gleason said the mayor’s response was swift, and he hopes that may be a deterrent against future violations.

Friday’s liquor commission meeting starts at 4 p.m. at city hall. It will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel.

Heart of Illinois ABC can be reached at News@WJBC.com. 

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