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An Official Letter from Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett – March 24, 2020

OFFICIAL LETTER – March 24, 2020

Citizens of Terre Haute,

Let me start by saying we’re all in this together. Thanks to all of you who are practicing social distancing and helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  As you know, Governor Holcomb issued an Executive Order yesterday directing “Hoosiers to Stay at Home.”

Beginning tomorrow (March 25th), all residents are ordered to stay at home unless they are engaging in “Essential Activities” (as described in the Governor’s Executive Order). With that in mind, I want to share some points provided by the official website of the Department of Homeland Security regarding “Stay at Home” regulations.

  • Remain indoors as much as possible and try to only leave your home when absolutely necessary. If your home has outdoor space, such as patios, porches, yards, etc., you may still access and enjoy them.
  • Outdoor activities such as walking, jogging and exercise, as well as walking your dog, are fine as long as you practice social distancing (maintaining six feet away from the next person). City parks and trails remain open but playgrounds and indoor rental spaces are closed.
  • Essential services such as grocery shopping, going to the doctor, filling your car with gas, visiting pharmacies, going to the Post Office, etc. are still fine to do.
  • Limit visitors if possible. Try to utilize video chatting. Call the people you would normally visit.
  • If available, use delivery services for groceries, meals and other items. It is advisable to clean every item’s packaging with sanitizing wipes or other 60% alcohol products before putting away or placing on home surfaces.
  • All individuals in high risk populations, including the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, are strongly recommended to avoid all public places and restrict travel to the maximum extent possible.

In addition, I know this is a very hard time for many businesses. I don’t take this lightly and commend our Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Center for helping local businesses navigate these times. You can visit and click on the COVID-19 Business Resource Guide for links to articles and resources that may greatly benefit you. In addition, Governor Holcomb announced a Critical Industries Hotline where local governments and businesses can ask questions. The number is (877) 820-0890.

Regarding City Hall and critical city services, the administration and its workforce will continue serving you, making sure that basic accommodations are being met at this time. Although City Hall will be closed to the public, rest assured the services you are counting on will remain fully operative.

The days ahead must be focused on keeping one another well. This can be accomplished by your individual actions. This is a time to come together and do what we’re being asked to do, “Stay at Home” and only go out to do what is essential. Our most vulnerable population, healthcare workers, public safety providers and all of those on the front lines need us to follow these instructions.

Lastly, I have faith in our citizenry and our community. I have seen some of the most thoughtful gestures of humanity in the last week. I encourage you to continue thinking about your neighbors and remain focused on your health. As we navigate these rough waters together, I find myself grateful to serve such a resilient community. Be well, Terre Haute.


Mayor Duke Bennett

City of Terre Haute