Sullivan County officials announced late Thursday evening restrictive policies aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, in the city and county.

In a pair of notices from Sullivan Commissioners, Robert Davis, Ray McCammon and John Waterman Sr. officials lay out 11 directives effective immediately through May 1.

"Sullivan County and its citizens have been impacted by and are immediately threatened by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and believe it is imperative to take action at this time in an effort to protect citizens and contain the spread of the virus to the greatest extent possible," the notice read.

Chief among the restrictions is a travel notice that calls for the end to all non-essential travel in Sullivan County. The order allows for travel to and from work and in the case of an emergency, but asks all other travel be suspended.

It also prohibits all public or private gathering of more than 10 people. The 10-person restriction does not apply to work, the order reads, but it is advise social distancing of at least six feet is regarded.

All school buildings and facilities are to remain closed through May 1, along with all gyms or workout facilities in the county, all branches of the Sullivan County Public Library, and all museums, entertainment and recreation establishments, including: bowling alleys, ballparks, golf courses, ballparks and golf courses.

The order says only those establishments providing critical, essential services may remain open, including: city and county offices, grocery stores, funeral homes, health care providers, banks, gas stations and auto repair businesses, convenience stores, dollar stores, daycare facilities, carry-out restaurants and bars, utilities, airports, postal service, veterinarian offices, home improvement and hardware stores, hotels and motels, laundromats, agricultural operations, legal services and social service agencies.

The commissioners' order was accompanied by supporting statements from Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb, Health Department Administrator Dr. Michael Gamble and Emergency Management Director Jim Pirtle,

Lamb said the measures, although stronger than any others taken yet in the Wabash Valley, are necessary for the safety for the community.

"In light of the heightened situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the city of Sullivan joins Sullivan County government leadership and Sullivan County Health Department officials in taking the strong and necessary precautions we feel are most appropriate to protect our residents and aggressively mitigate the potential spread of the virus," Lamb said.

Gamble said much the same.

"The measures being instituted may seem difficult and excessive, but they are necessary to help limit the spread of COVID-19 within our community," Gamble said. "This effort will require the participation of all Sullivan County residents and we sincerely appreciate all the sacrifices that will be made."

Residents of Sullivan County and City should consult regularly for updates.

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