County commissioners met on Friday to unanimously approve a county-wide mask mandate that went into effect on Friday, Nov. 20. 

“A face mask is required for any person or individual entering any enclosed public space or enclosed place of business. The face mask shall be worn at all times,” states Ordinance 2020-21. 

There are exceptions to this ordinance. For example, if a person has a medical exception, if the person is five years of age or younger, or if the person is delivering or receiving goods or services (i.e. while eating or drinking).

Businesses must require employees, contractors, owners and volunteers to wear a face mask at the workplace and when performing off-site anywhere the employee, contractor, owner, or volunteer would be otherwise required by the ordinance to wear a face mask. Businesses must also take “reasonable measures” to remind their customers and the public of the requirement that they wear a face mask while inside the business.

As far as enforcing the ordinance, the “Health Department, Health Officer, and other local officials or law enforcement officers are designated to enforce the terms and provisions of this ordinance in accordance with Indiana law.”

If a person, business, or entity does not comply with restrictions and the other public health requirements set forth in Governor Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-48, published on Nov. 13, and set in the commissioner’s ordinance, then the following incremental steps are recommended:

• Investigation of the complaint or suspicion and, if warranted, issue a verbal order to cease the unsafe practice so that the person or owner has the opportunity to comply.

• If the person or owner fails to comply with the verbal order, then the enforcing entity (listed above) should issue a written order to cease the unsafe practice.This notice may be served by personal service; certified mail, return receipt requested; or by registered mail.

• If the unsafe practice continues after the above steps are taken and the person or business enterprise has been given at least 48 hours to comply with the violation notice, “the relevant official should issue an order to close the business enterprise.”

• If the business enterprise receives a fine and fails to pay that fine, then legal actions in a court may be instituted to enforce the terms and conditions of the ordinance.

“The monetary fine for violation of this ordinance shall be assessed and shall be as follows: each violation of the ordinance shall be $100. Each day that a violation of this ordinance remains uncorrected shall constitute a violation which may result in the issuance of a subsequent citation,” stated the ordinance.

For a more detailed article concerning Friday mornings meeting, pick up a copy of Saturday’s Pilot News!

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