INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced a mask mandate for the state on Wednesday.
It will start on July 27.
Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar on the issuance of a statewide mask mandate for Hoosiers:
“Too many Indiana companies, employees and their families are in their fifth month of financial turmoil. That will not change and our economy will not be on the full road to recovery until some certainty is brought to this uncontrolled pandemic. The wearing of masks is a proven strategy for protecting others and enhancing our health – both physical and economic.
Governor Holcomb’s order is a necessary step at this time in continuing to reopen Indiana safely.”
Holcomb says they will be required for anyone over the age of eight-years-old while inside, in public spaces, and other environments when social distancing is not possible.
Holcomb also said masks will be required in public schools for kids in the 3rd grade and older.
- Anyone 8 years or older in indoor public spaces, commercial entities or transportation services, or in outside public spaces when you cannot socially distance.
- Mask use in schools required for grades 3 and up, faculty and staff, volunteers and anyone else in schools
- Masks are also required for co-curricular and extracurricular activities, with exceptions for strenuous physical activity
- Exceptions will be made for medical purposes, strenuous physical activity, eating and drinking
- Masks are strongly recommended for ages 2-7
Holcomb said the deciding factors include an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, an increased hospitalization rate, and an increase in cases and positivity rates in neighboring states.
Under the executive order Holcomb will sign on Thursday, you can be penalized for not wearing a mask, under the authority of state law. But officials say enforcement will be focused on educating people.
During Wednesday's briefing, Holcomb said the mandate would stay in place until the state's COVID-19 numbers start to improve.
The state's reopening stage remains paused at 4.5.