Knox County will begin enforcing Governor Holcomb's mask mandate

Enforcement will be focused on bars and restaurants through health inspections.

Posted: Oct 30, 2020 5:30 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2020 8:06 AM

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The county will lead off those changes by enforcing the governor's mask mandate. This will primarily be in bars and restaurants.

Right now the health department does regular health inspections. During those inspections, the department will check to make sure employees are wearing masks. Not wearing them could result in a violation. A continued violation could result in a fine.

But the county plans on helping businesses enforce the mandate on customers coming into their businesses.

Knox County Health officer Dr. Alan Stewart says, "Law enforcement could be called and the person would be asked to leave the premises. This would not be a ticket or a fine for not wearing a mask, it would be a trespass. Where the store owner would ask for the person to be removed from their property and law enforcement would be consent with that."

Social gatherings will be limited to 50 people.

County schools have been placed in a yellow designation. Because of this, there will be an increase in social distancing and mask-wearing.

The county's moves come after the county has reached over 900 cases of the virus. 18 new cases were reported Friday. The spike in the county has begun taking its toll on health care workers.

Stewart explains, "The large numbers in our community. The stress on the hospital as well as the health care providers who have been working, many of them 60 hour weeks since March. We need to do something in our community to attempt to decrease the numbers of positive of active covid cases."

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