(ELKHART) – Starting today, Elkhart County is requiring face coverings in public to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz made the announcement Monday. The County's Board of Health voted last week to put the measure into place. Mertz says current methods used haven't been able to slow down the number of positive cases in the county.
According to a recent public health study by Indiana University it shows 45 percent of people who tested positive for COVID-19 weren't even aware they had it because they weren't showing any symptoms at the time they were tested. Mertz says they could infect someone without knowing it.
Under this order, people must wear masks when in public areas where they can't maintain a distance of six feet from others. This applies both indoors and outdoors.
The order also advises adults to supervise the use of face coverings by children who are between the ages of 3 and 12. Children 2 years old and younger are not required to wear a mask because it could restrict their breathing.
Businesses and employers must require their employees and any visitors to wear face masks.
The ordinance also says that wearing face coverings does not replace the need for people to continue to follow other protective measures, like washing your hands and practicing social distancing.
The order is in effect until Mertz rescinds it.
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