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Commissioners extend mask mandate in county-owned buildings until Nov. 17 meeting

Post-Tribune - 10/20/2021

Oct. 20—In a 2-1 vote, the Lake County Board of Commissioners approved extending the current mask mandate in county-owned buildings for another month.

In August, the commissioners approved a mask mandate for county-owned buildings following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through Oct. 20. The commissioners also voted 2-1 for the mask mandate in August.

The order states that given the CDC's recommendation for people, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in indoor public places as the delta variant accelerates COVID-19 infections and state code that gives the commissioners "the obligation supervising the care and custody of all county property." The order will be revisited Nov. 17 at the commissioners' next meeting.

As of Tuesday, the state has reported 2,023 new positive cases and 51 new COVID-19 deaths, for a total of 1,003,647 positive cases and 15,883 deaths as of March 2020, according to the state health department. In Lake County, 94 new positive cases and two new COVID-19 deaths have been reported, for a total of 66,185 total positive cases and 1,159 deaths.

Commissioner Jerry Tippy, a Republican representing the 2nd District, voted against the mask mandate order. He declined to comment as to why he voted against the mask mandate, stating "It's pretty obvious."

Tippy voted against the mask mandate in August, which was added to the agenda at the start of the meeting. At the time, Tippy said he voted against the mandate because he said he wasn't given the order to read, so he didn't want to vote on something without reading it.

"It was just one sentence on an agenda," Tippy said in August.

Board of Commissioners President Michael Repay, D-3rd, said he voted in favor of the mask mandate because "there's still more unknown" around the virus, so it is "easier" to have a mask mandate in place for county-owned buildings to protect those entering and working in the building to stop the spread of the virus.

"It's not a huge inconvenience," Repay said. "It's an easy, little thing we can do."


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