Vanderburgh Co. Health Department enforcing mask mandate through education

Vanderburgh Co. Health Department enforcing mask mandate through education

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Hoosier State is now three days into Gov. Eric Holcomb’s mask mandate.

In Vanderburgh County, health department administrator Joe Gries says people are following the order.

“Things have been going pretty well,” Gries said. “I think we’ve gotten a couple reports where we needed to provide some information but for the most part, I think everybody is doing what they need to do. Restaurants and bars are handling what they need to handle.”

Gries says the health department’s role is enforcing the mandate through education. It’s a proactive and reactive approach.

“We do have groups, large groups that we’ll be reaching out to,” Gries said. “Long-term care facilities that we work with all of the time, the school corporation, the Catholic Diocese...”

It’s an effort to make sure they know how to implement safe policies in their facilities. The Vanderburgh County Commissioners also have a contract with a company that is going out and assisting with the health department’s enforcement.

“Bars, taverns, things of that nature,” Gries said. “That they have their tables separated to be six feet apart, that there are only a certain number of chairs at each table.”

Without the authority to issue fines or shut down events, Gries believes the education element is the best way to remind the community to adhere to the Governor’s orders.

“So we hope that people understand what their responsibilities are, and take care to keep themselves and the people that are maybe coming into their business or showing up at a gathering, safe.”

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