Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke on Friday announced that masks will soon be required in the River City.
"An Executive Order is being drafted with a directive to wear a face mask to begin next Wednesday, July 15, although anyone not already wearing a mask can certainly start today," said Mayor Winnecke on Friday during a press conference.
As of now, Mayor Winnecke said the Executive Order will require masks to be worn in indoor public spaces, and that businesses are also being strongly encouraged to require them. Winnecke said more details on the executive order requiring masks in Evansville will be released next week in advance of the July 15 start date.
The mayor's decision is based on guidance from a medical advisory group assembled by Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer in addition to recent COVID-19 numbers in Evansville. Winnecke said that the reopening of schools and businesses at full capacity were also factors when making the decision on mandatory masks in Evansville.
"We also want schools to reopen, as well as businesses to open at full capacity and rebound from a devastating business climate," said Winnecke on Friday. "We will continue to reopen our community and schools by taking the necessary safeguards to ensure public health."
Mayor Winnecke said that at this time, fines aren't being considered for those who don't follow the order.
Previously, Winnecke said that the government shouldn't have to make masks mandatory and that the public should take personal responsibility and wear a mask without being told to do so, but that "if it comes to that, it comes to that."
These decisions come just days after a proposal was made by Evansville City Council members to require masks in public.
Petitions advocating both for and against mandatory masks in Evansville had previously been created.