(LaPorte County) - LaPorte County Commissioners jumped on the mask mandate bandwagon Wednesday night.
In a 2-1 vote, they passed an ordinance requiring face masks in all public and private areas, both indoor and outdoor where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
When the county-wide order takes effect on Friday, LaPorte will be the fifth county in Indiana to issue such a mandate.
The order has little to no legal force; it does not authorize police or citizens to enforce mask-wearing.
The order also contains many exceptions, including small children, restaurant diners, and individual health and occupational limitations. There is even a religious exemption.
Voting in favor of the measure, Commissoners Dr. Vidya Kora and Sheila Matias stressed the need to take action as COVID-19 cases locally are on the rise. Commissioner Rich Mrozinski called it an overreach of government, especially regarding the order's regulation of private property.
The order will last indefinitely until local health officials feel COVID-19 spread is under control.