New mask mandate passed by the St. Joseph County Common Council

NOW: New mask mandate passed by the St. Joseph County Common Council

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- According to St. Joseph County Health Officials, deaths due to COVID-19 were 3 times higher in the month of October than any previous month with hospitals being overworked. Tuesday night city leaders discussed taking action.

“To change behavior, we need leadership and what the council demonstrated was leadership. It is my hope and expectation that the council will follow their elected leaders,” said Dr. Robert Einterz, St. Joseph County Health Officer 

On Tuesday, the St. Joseph County Common Council met to vote on an ordinance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ordinance reinforces the mask mandates by potentially fining businesses for any employees seen without a wearing a mask.

After collaborating with the St. Joseph County Health Department and a month spent revising the ordinance, it was passed Tuesday – with 8 in favor and 1 against. Now, local officials hope people will recognize the importance of the COVID-19 crisis here in the community.

“I know there is going to be a lot of mixed reactions, and I understand that. I just hope moving forward that people will abide by the ordinance, and we will take this thing moving forward day to day because it is an extremely serious and contentious issue,” said Rafael Morton, St. Joseph County District D Councilman and President.

While the ordinance was passed by the common council, it will go through another review from the Board of Commissioners for its final vote next Tuesday.  

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