While a number of local restaurants and bars such as Peephole Bar & Grill, Sauced, KC's Marina Pointe, and Bud's Rockin' Country Bar & Grill, have recently closed temporarily due to COVID-19 exposures, Mayor Winnecke said that doesn't change his stance as far as requiring masks for Evansville.
"We continue to monitor the numbers on a daily basis, we continue to have discussions with leaders from the hospitals as well as the health department," Mayor Winnecke explained.
"Businesses can request and require their customers to have masks," said Winnecke. "There are still restrictions on how many people can go into a bar or to a restaurant - so we hope that those business owners are still abiding by the law."
The mayor went on to say that right now, the public is being asked to take personal responsibility to wear a mask without local leaders having to tell them to do so.
"We should not have to mandate for you to wear a mask to keep us safe. If it comes to that, it comes to that," said the mayor. "But right now, we're imploring people to take social responsibility - personal responsibility, and wear a mask without us having to tell you to do it."
Mayor Winnecke talked about the "Mask Up Hoosiers" campaign, which is a new initiative where Indiana residents are encouraged by state and local officials to wear a facemask when in public.
The mayor noted that there isn't a certain threshold of positive cases or hospitalization rates that would influence his decision on making masks mandatory in public.