MARSHALL COUNTY — As of 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning, you must wear a face covering your face and mouth when you are at:

1. An indoor area open to the public;

2. An outdoor public area at any time when a distance of six feet from individuals outside of their household cannot be maintained;

3. A private indoor or outdoor area where a distance of six feet from individual outside of their household cannot be maintained. 

There are exceptions to this mandate. Here they are:

1. Any child age two years or less (a face covering may cause such a child to suffocate);

2. Individuals with a physical disability that prevents easily wearing or removing a face covering;

3. Any individual who are deaf and must remove the face covering for facial and mouth movements for communication;

4. Any individual with medical documentation that wearing a face covering poses a health risk;

5. Any individual who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance;

6. Any individual who is directed to remove a face covering by a law enforcement officer;

7. Any employee engaged in a work-related activity where a face covering would serve to present or exacerbate a hazard as recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration;

8. Any restaurant or bar customer while they are dining; and

9. Any individual who (1) is not in an area open to the public and (2) can maintain at least six feet from all other individuals not residing in his or her household. 

This mandate was the source of discussion at Monday’s County Commissioner meeting. The Marshall County Health Department (MCHD) Administrator Ashley Garcia and Public Health Nurse Lisa Letsinger came before the commissioners and answered questions pertaining to the MCHD mask mandate.

Garcia stated that reception of the mandate has varied from “complaints, some thanks, and threats. It’s been across the board.”

Letsinger added that “the concept is risk reduction.” She then stated that the number of infected, per capita, Marshall County is leading the pack in the state.

According to Letsinger, the state’s number of infected per capita is 122 per 100,000. Elkhart County’s number of infected per capita is 343 per 100,000.

“And Marshall is topping out at 363 per 100,000,” said Letsinger. “I know Doc (MCHD Health Officer Dr. Byron Holm) wants our economy strong. He wants our businesses open. He wants our community healthy. In order to do that we’ve got to pull together and try to mitigate the increase in infection in our community.”

For the full article, make sure to pick up the Tuesday edition of the Pilot News.

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