Vanderburgh County Health Department turns to excise police to check for COVID violations

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Evansville Courier & Press on 2/2/2021 by Thomas B. Langhorne

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — It’s the classic dilemma of law and code enforcement: Large groups of people can violate Indiana’s COVID-19 safety mandates anywhere in the state, in any rockin’ joint big enough to hold them, any time it’s open. Enforcers have to be everywhere all the time.

For those charged with enforcing the mandates, it’s a prescription for failure. Just ask the Vanderburgh County Health Department. Constrained by budget and manpower limitations, the department operates with a yawning gap in its defenses, leaving it entirely reliant on state investigators to identify large-scale violations in bars and restaurants and to collect evidence.

“Here’s the reality of this thing. We, the health department, doesn’t have any investigators,” said County Attorney David Jones. “The health department has inspectors.”