General Requirements For Gatherings & Events

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Under the Governor's Executive Order issued on February 1, 2021, all gatherings & events in the State of Indiana must adhere to the following guidelines.

If you are aware of a gathering or event in Porter County that is not compliant with the guidelines below, you can REPORT A NON-COMPLIANT GATHERING OR EVENT ONLINE to the Porter County Health Department. Please be sure to read the guidelines below BEFORE filing a report.

Religious Services and Places of Worship: 

  • Virtual Services Preferred: Places of worship and faith communities are strongly encouraged to continue or resume livestreaming services or otherwise providing virtual or drive in services to safely serve their communities.
  • Live or In-Person Services: Live or in-person religious services, including wedding ceremonies and funeral services, are not subject to limits on social gatherings as set forth in this Executive Order. However, social distancing and other sanitation measures apply, meaning individuals or households must be spaced at least six (6) feet apart from any other individual or household. The wearing of face coverings is also strongly encouraged. Wedding receptions and visitations before or after funerals remain subject to the limitations and restrictions for social gatherings as set forth in this Executive Order.

Social Gatherings And Events:

  • Definintion of Social Gathering: A "social gathering" is an event, assembly, or convening that brings together multiple people, individually or from separate households, in a single location, whether held indoors or outdoors, in a private residence, commercial venue, or other public place, at the same time and in a coordinated fashion where a significant purpose is to interact with others - such as a wedding reception, funeral visitation, family reunion, party, barbecue, picnic, or club meeting.
  • Definition of Event: An "event" is an assembly or convening of multiple individuals from separate households in a single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time but where the main purpose is not necessarily for individuals to interact with others outside of one's household but to engage in or attend a business/ commercial function, single event, or events of limited duration such as conferences, conventions, concerts, shows, sport or athletic competitions (community, K-12 extracurricular, collegiate and professional), fairs, festivals, carnivals, parades, graduation ceremonies, community holiday celebrations, fundraisers or other entertainment events.
  • Capacity Limits For Social Gatherings and Events:
  1. It is strongly recommended that the overall size of a social gathering or even be limited in overall attendance (attendees, staff and others) based on a county's color-coded advisory level as follows:
  1. counties designated as Red may have up to a total of 25 individuals present;
  2. counties designated as Orange may have up to a total of 50 individuals present;
  3. counties designated as Yellow may have up to a total of 100 individuals present;
  4. counties designated as Blue may have up to a total of 250 individuals present.

Subject to the provisions set out below, the overall attendance of any social gathering or event may be greater than set forth above so long as the overall attendence does not exceed:

  • 25% of a facility's capacity for counties designated as Red or Orange; 
  • 50% of a facility's capacity for counties designated as Yellow; 
  • 100% of a facility's capacity for counties designated as Blue.

Social Gathering/Event Safety Plans and Submission Timeline: For any social gathering or event where the total number of invited, requested or expected individuals (including staff) will exceed the recommended number of permitted attendees as set out in section ¶1.a thru 1.d above, the host of the gathering or event must submit a safety plan to the local health department.

Venue owners, hosts and/or organizers of a social gathering or event who are required to develop a written safety plan must outline the steps to be taken to mitigate against COVID-19. Each safety plan must address the following issues:

  • Capacity: identifying the overall capacity limit for the venue, the percentage and corresponding number of persons allowed under the county's current colord code, and the number of persons expected to be present (attendees, staff & others);
  • Guest Information: identifying the appropriate information to be provided to guests to stay home if sick or part of a vulnerable population, engage in social distancing, increase handwashing, etc.;
  • Staff & Volunteer Screening: identifying measures to be taken to appropriately screen staff and volunteers for COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Social Distancing Measures: identifying measures to be employed to ensure attendees engage in social distancing such as use of multiple entrances, designated seating, one-way flow of attendees, ground markings, distance between seating/tables, etc.;
  • Increased Sanitation: outlining steps to be taken to ensure the event space is appropriately cleaned and sanitized, that high touch areas have increased cleaning, and that additional handwashing or hand sanitizing is available;
  • Face Coverings: identifying face coverings will be required and the measures to be taken to ensure coverings are worn; and
  • Compliance: identifying the number of persons, event staff or volunteers who will be available and sufficient to monitor and ensure compliance with the approved plan and other Executive Order directives.

Any social gathering or event where the total number of individuals invited, requested, or expected to be in attendance will exceed the number permitted based on a county's color code, must submit an event safety plan to the local health department at least seven (7) days in advance of the event and receive approval from the local health department before proceeding. 

Local Health Department Review of Event Safety Plans: Local health departments shall review and approve/ disapprove event safety plans or request adjustments.

Social Gathering/Event Monitoring & Enforcement: Event planners, hosts, venue owners or organizers must have sufficient persons, staff or volunteers present during the social gathering or event to monitor and ensure compliance with the approved plan and other Executive Order directives.