The St. Joseph County, IN Board of Health is working on an ordinance to fine businesses that violate the health department’s face mask order.
The St. Joe County health department is looking for ways to increase mask use as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb in the county.
Officials from the county health department said they’ve received hundreds of complaints about businesses not making employees wear facemasks and not having signs that at least encourage customers to do the same.
Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox said the fines are not to punish businesses for customers not wearing masks - but to make sure businesses are not blatantly disregarding the rules.
“The goal overall is to increase the proportion of people in public spaces who are wearing masks and our goal is to be 80 percent or better.”
Fox said businesses would still be given a warning first but after that could face a fine costing anywhere from $50 to $250, if the ordinance is passed. The county health department would be in charge of issuing the fines.
He said the proposed ordinance is expected to be voted on by the county council in late July or early August.