EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A resolution rolls ahead related to wearing face masks in Vanderburgh County.
County Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the measure after hearing opinions from both sides.
This conversation comes only one day after Evansville City Council held its first reading of a similar, but enforceable, ordinance.
Vanderburgh County Commissioners say they are continuing to follow the guidance of the health experts which strongly recommends, but not necessarily requiring, people to wear face masks.
The paperwork partly reads “Vanderburgh County has experienced an alarming rate of new infections, with spread seemingly growing exponentially in an uncontrolled manner.”
“Whether we do mandates, directives, or in this case: a resolution, what we’re saying is what our health department is recommending to us,” Commission President Jeff Hatfield explained.
Dr. Ken Spear, who leads the Vanderburgh County Health Department, said in a letter to commissioners that the gains made in fighting this virus are at risk. He requested the resolution for universal masking in indoor venues, when requested by a business for entry, or when social distancing is not an option.
“Eventually we have to take responsibility for our self, which is why we’re strongly recommending that you follow the advice of the health department,” Hatfield added.
Ahead of the unanimous vote, the commission did hear opinions from others. Two of the speakers agreed this should be a decision, but not a demand.
“It is not hard to wear a mask, but I don’t support any mandated law that would affect us, citizens,” Gabriel Whitley expressed.
“We live in the USA and it’s freedom. I’ll be darned — I would go to jail before — I won’t comply, Brenda Bergwitz declared. “I mean, I wear it all the time. But if it comes to that — I will not comply. I will proudly go to jail.”
“But in the end, it’s up to the individual citizens to determine if we’re going to beat this or not,” said Hatfield.
The resolution is expected to stay in place until the termination of the Governor’s public health emergency declaration.
You can read the full resolution below: