Beginning Wednesday, July 15, 2020, face masks are required to be worn by individuals within the city limits of Evansville. This requirement derives from an executive order that was signed by Mayor Lloyd Winnecke on July 14, 2020.
The order mandates that “all persons of at least six (6) years of age within the City be required to wear a clean Face Mask at any time during which they will be in contact with people who are not household members” in the following places:
- All indoor areas open to the public, including public transportation;
- All educational institutions except where students and faculty can be appropriately socially distanced; and
- Outdoors where the person cannot maintain a distance of at least six (6) feet from individuals who do not share the same household as the person.
The order provides numerous exceptions to this new requirement. Below is a list of exempted activities in which people are not required to wear a mask:
- Individuals under the age of six (6) years;
- Individuals outdoors when able to maintain at least a six (6) foot distance from others;
- Individuals who are in a private residence, except that Face Masks will be required in all common areas of any multi-family structure;
- Individuals in a building or office who are alone in a room;
- Individuals who are traveling in their own vehicle;
- Individuals who are speaking in public or making presentations or lectures for a broadcast or to an audience, including, but not limited to, clergy giving sermons;
- Individuals experiencing homelessness;
- Individuals with deafness or other impairments (including those who are hard of hearing) or those in communication with such individuals who would face obstacles to communication if required to wear a Face Mask;
- Individuals receiving medical or dental services that require removal of a Face Mask to receive such services;
- Individuals who have a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a Face Mask;
- Individuals who are seated and are consuming food or beverage at a restaurant, bar, or other establishment only while consuming food or beverages; however, individuals must wear a Face Mask in all other situations;
- Individuals who are incarcerated;
- Individuals, when requested by a law enforcement officer;
- Individuals who would be at risk wearing a Face Mask at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
- Individuals who are engaged in outdoor or indoor physical exercise or sporting activities which are incompatible with wearing a Face Mask, including running, jogging, walking, bicycling, or swimming;
- Facilities that are owned or operated by Federal and State Government;
- Individuals inside religious facilities; provided, however, it is strongly recommended that religious facilities adopt Face Mask policies which are in conformity with federal, state, and local guidance;
- Individuals while acting in their official capacity as a public safety employee or an emergency responder when wearing a Face Mask would interfere or limit their ability to carry out their official duties or functions; these include police officers, fire fighters, and other public safety or emergency medical personnel that support public safety functions; and
- Individuals who are smoking or vaping so long as social distancing is maintained.
Indiana state law allows mayors to issue executive orders that remain in effect for seven (7) days. Nevertheless, Mayor Winnecke is entitled under Indiana law to extend the order every seven (7) days if he deems it necessary to do so.
Effect on Local Businesses
Under the order, businesses owners, managers, and operators are required to inform all people who come into their businesses who are not in compliance to wear face masks when required. However, Mayor Winnecke’s executive order does not include any potential fines for individuals who fail to comply with the order.
Further, Evansville businesses have the right to refuse service to any person who violates the order by not wearing a facial covering.
It is imperative for local businesses to have a plan to combat issues regarding COVID-19 and keep up with ever-changing rules and regulations. For individualized guidance or more information regarding the new face mask order or any related topic, please contact contact your KDDK attorney.