Vanderburgh County Health Department to get help with inspections

Coronavirus Watch Indiana

VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT)–The Vanderburgh County Health Department is getting more help to make sure businesses are having their workers mask up and distancing their customers six feet apart. As the county veers towards the red zone, the Indiana State Fire Marshal, State Excise Police, and Homeland Security Department officials met with health officials to see how the state should intervene.

“I don’t think there’s any county in the state that’s fully equipped to take on fighting a pandemic on their own,” explained Vanderburgh County Attorney David Jones.

The state is sending people to observe businesses in hopes of teaching employees the safest way to operate. When businesses defy these orders Jones says corrective action starts with a verbal warning. If violations persist, then a cease and desist letter can be served. If employees still don’t take correct precautions, the health department can force the business to shut down temporarily. This has happened twice in Vanderburgh County.

“The governor’s current executive order recommended that any business that was not in compliance, after that final step, be reported to any state or government agency or commission that issued license or permits,” Jones said.

This means any bar or restaurant, that ignores correction actions and continues to violate mask wearing and social distancing, could ultimately lose its liquor license or food permit.

“This isn’t about trying to hurt somebody’s business, close somebody down, or put someone out of work. It’s about a public health issue,” said Jones

David Tang, COMFORT by the Cross-Eyed Cricket says, this is great, if it means preventing Indiana from another stay at home order.

“I don’t mind going to 50%. I keep my workers working, at least they are getting some paycheck instead of none so I’d rather follow the rules, whatever they recommend,” said Tang.

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(This story was originally published on November 24, 2020)

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