Customers line up outside Harry's Chocolate Shop on State Street, Monday, May 11, 2020 in West Lafayette. (Photo: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)
Customers line up outside Harry's Chocolate Shop on State Street, Monday, May 11, 2020 in West Lafayette. (Photo: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)
WEST LAFAYETTE – The scene that stretched outside the entrance to Harry’s Chocolate Shop, an iconic Purdue spot in West Lafayette’s Village for more than a century, on the day it reopened Monday morning – the first day restaurants could be open for in-house dining in Indiana in nearly two months – was still the talk when Tippecanoe County health officials met Wednesday to recap a week in local coronavirus response.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said he thought Harry’s owner Mary Cook had done “an amazing job” on the inside of the bar to get ready for the first day. The lines outside were another matter, stretching, as Dennis said, “elbow to elbow” down State Street with mostly maskless Purdue students bunching up as early as 5 a.m. Monday to get a seat and a beer. City police stopped by several times to give reminders about six-foot social distancing guidelines, as complaints and iPhone snaps piled up in the mayor’s phone.

Dr. Jeremy Adler, Tippecanoe County’s health officer, called it a reminder for restaurants that they not only were responsible for what happened inside their establishments, but also for customers waiting outside. Still, by both accounts, from the mayor and the health department, Harry’s management was making the proper adjustments to deal with pent-up demand.

Minutes earlier, during a weekly update broadcast on Facebook and TV, Adler had slipped in a mention of fresh demographics he said were “interesting to note:” While college-age residents weren’t necessarily getting deathly sick from COVID-19, of the 261 confirmed cases as of Wednesday in Tippecanoe County, 22.6 percent of those were in the 20-29 age bracket.

That was more than any other age bracket broken down in Indiana State Department of Health reports for the county.

 

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