Paula Copenhaver
PHOTO: WISH-TV

Fountain County Clerk Refuses To Wear Mask While On The Job

COVINGTON, Ind. — The Fountain County clerk is refusing to wear a mask while at work.

Fountain County is a designated hotspot for coronavirus right now and has the highest infection in the state, according to the state health department. Clerk Paula Copenhaver tells WISH-TV that she has an exemption under the governor’s mask mandate, but she did not say exactly what the exemption is.

“There are exemptions under the governor’s mandate and if somebody has an exemption it’s none of my business to ask why they aren’t wearing a mask,” she said. “I’m not going to tell somebody they have to wear something. That is not my job, especially as an elected official.”

The Fountain County health director, Dr. Sean Sharma, is critical of Copenhaver’s decision.

“I think it’s short-sighted,” Sharma said. “It’s an unfortunate interpretation of the restrictions. I think some people look for any way they can get out of safety precautions and that’s not something we need to be doing at this time.”

Fountain County is doing contact tracing and, so far, not found any patterns in positive cases linked to the Courthouse where Copenhaver’s office is, but the Health Department is keeping a close eye on new cases.

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