La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody today issued an executive order limiting the number of customers permitted in retail businesses to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“This was a sobering week for our community, as we had our very first coronavirus-related death in LaPorte County,” Dermody said. “The number of confirmed cases continues to rise in Northwest Indiana, and they are only going to get higher if we don’t take action now.” 

Under the executive order, customers entering a store within the city are limited to one person per family. Additionally, retailers are required to limit the number of customers in the store at a time to 2 per 1,000 square feet. For example, a 10,000 square foot store could have no more than 20 people in the building at a time. For businesses more than 62,000 square feet, the number of customers permitted will be capped at 125. Retail employees are exempt from this count.

We want to protect the health and safety of both customers and retail employees,” Dermody said. “I have been working in partnership with our retail community in drafting this order. Though this step is an inconvenience for some, we agree it is necessary to ensure our residents follow the social distancing guidelines in these spaces. During this time, I encourage everyone to plan ahead when shopping, and when possible, take advantage of retailers’ delivery and pick-up options.”

The executive order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 4, and will run through the end of the month.