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Adams County food inspector says she disagrees with the mask mandate

FORT WAYNE Ind. (WPTA21) - The mask mandate is receiving a range of reaction across the state and a lot of questions with how it will be enforced. Adams County Food Inspector, Deb Mishler, says she disagrees with the mandate entirely.  

"I've never really believed in the mandate of the masks from day one, I’ve never believed the virus is as deadly as they’re saying,” Mishler said. 

She says since the reopening, it’s been her job to educate restaurants on the updates with safety protocol. Now with the mask mandate, she says she doesn’t believe she should have to enforce it.  

 “I was told that I did not have to enforce it, because I didn’t believe in in, but I would do my job,” Mishler said. "I know every restaurant owner in this town, and I don’t want to shut them down, they’ve already been through a lot.” 

Mishler posted on her Facebook, “Since our state reopened I have done 0(zero) inspections.” 

The reason why, she says, is that all she’s done is follow-up with complaints from people about others not wearing masks in restaurants. She says, as the food inspector, she felt it was important she shared her opinion.  

“I don’t think there should be a punishment for it, because we really shouldn’t be wearing masks,” Mishler said. “I do feel pressure from my office but I'm not going to back down on how I feel, I just don’t believe in it.” 

Decatur resident, Jeff Hake, says he agrees with Mishler and he believes wearing a mask should be a personal choice. 

"I pretty much agree with all she had to say, I think masks, if you’re an elderly person or have an underlying condition they’re good but for the general populous, especially the youth, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Hake said. "I think everyone should just follow their own intuition and do what they can in any given situation.” 

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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