Update: Monroe Mayor extends State of Emergency restricting size of gatherings for 72 hours

Update at 6:45 p.m. on March 31, 2020

Monroe Mayor John Howard extended his State of Emergency restricting size of gatherings for another 72 hours, until 6:45 p.m. on April 3, 2020. Howard said at the beginning that this order would be extended for 72 hours at a time as long as it was necessary to enforce.

Initial story

Monroe Mayor has issued an emergency decree limiting any gatherings in the Monroe city limits in excess of 10 people where social distancing protocols are not adhered to. This imposes the limits on public streets, rights of ways, private yards and curtilage of private homes. The emergency declaration remains in effect for the next 72 hours.

Monroe City Administrator Logan Propes said this declaration will be renewed every 72 hours until the next City Council meeting. He said it is in response to the ongoing block parties that some residents have had in violation of social distancing protocals.

“The Mayor may exercise his authority to extend by another 72 hours or less by the expiration of current order,” Propes said.

The Monroe Police Chief and Police Department are ordered to enforce this declaration. Citations will be issued to those in violation.

Howard posted the following message to the community on his Facebook page.

Many have seen the disappointing actions of party-goers last night in Monroe. As you know, your Council and I take our jobs very seriously with the #1 concern being protecting your freedoms. Many, earlier in the week, hoped Council would institute a curfew or even go to an outright order to, “shelter in place”. Our first concern was protecting your liberty. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” HOWEVER, taking into consideration those who would use their liberty to the detriment of public safety (as shown last night), I am forced to take action for the safety of our entire town to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. Immediately, per Executive Order, the city of Monroe is in a state of emergency. All public gatherings will be limited to 10 or fewer people. Our police force will be responsible to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of our citizens

The full Emergency Declaration follows: