The Indiana mask mandate ends soon - here's what local health officials think

The mask mandate will be downgraded to an advisory on April 6th across the state of Indiana. Learn how local health officials are responding to the change.

Posted: Mar 26, 2021 6:52 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2021 9:41 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Many Hoosiers are getting tired of wearing masks. However, local health officials are still encouraging them to do so even when the mask mandate expires on April 6th. 

On Tuesday, Governor Holcomb announced that the mask mandate will officially expire in all counties in Indiana beginning April 6th. An advisory will still be in place, but this may not be enough to stop a potential spike in COVID-19 cases. The Vigo County Health Commissioner, Dr. Darren Brucken gives News 10 his insight into the upcoming change.

Data shows new Covid-19 cases and positivity rates are on the decline locally. The state is recording some of the lowest case numbers in over six months. However, the number of cases is slowly climbing back up. Dr. Brukcen sees hospitalizations beginning to rise, especially among young, unvaccinated adults. He believes if we continue to remain cautious after the mask mandate is lifted, we may not see a significant spike.

"We're all apprehensive," Brucken said. "We are all hopeful but apprehensive nonetheless. We hope we don't see a spike from this. I think as people listen to common sense and stay vigilant and stay masked and distanced and continue to do what they need to do on a personal level, control your own variables, we should continue to see a falloff of case counts particularly as vaccinations mount."

Just because the mask mandate is expiring, doesn’t mean the coronavirus will stop spreading from person to person.

"Certainly the plea is that the pandemic is not over," Brucken said. We still have people getting cases and people getting sick every day. We are still advising people to wear a mask if they can/"

Masks will still be required at all state-buildings, hospitals, vaccination sites, and k-12 schools. Additionally, local businesses can decide if they will enforce mask-wearing or not. Otherwise, mask-wearing will not be required but is still encouraged, especially with how the virus is spread….

"COVID is a respiratory virus that has to get out of my body and into your body," Brucken said. "So if I have a barrier here and you have a barrier there and we have space between us. The likelihood of me transmitting the virus to you is minimized. If we are unmasked and close together, you are obviously going to be at a lot higher of a risk from contracting it from another person."

Dr. Brucken is also encouraging residents to get their vaccine if the state wants to continue to see a decline in case numbers,

"Everyone needs to get vaccinated as quickly as they can," Brucken said. "The vaccine surplus is starting to build and they are dropping the age requirements very quickly. Please consider getting vaccinated and that is going to help bring an end to this pandemic, finally"

Dr. Brucken told News 10 that he has been in contact with Mayor Bennet and several Vigo County Commissioners. They are hoping to release a plan here locally regarding the mask advisory early next week.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 83°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 82°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 80°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 81°
Sunny & pleasant day.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1582392

Reported Deaths: 26884
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60726610902
DuPage1026891351
Will862101080
Lake761221053
Kane65145838
Winnebago38503541
Madison37519564
St. Clair34621558
McHenry32619311
Peoria25609359
Champaign25478182
Sangamon24108264
McLean21470203
Tazewell19477326
Rock Island17502342
Kankakee16409232
Kendall15177104
LaSalle14258273
Macon14134230
Vermilion12805180
Adams12525147
DeKalb11460126
Williamson11116152
Whiteside7759176
Boone753381
Jackson748379
Coles7121109
Ogle699985
Grundy690481
Clinton673597
Franklin658994
Knox6439163
Marion6392135
Macoupin629997
Henry604172
Jefferson5933130
Effingham580980
Livingston560294
Woodford548291
Stephenson534088
Randolph517096
Monroe501098
Morgan477995
Fulton475369
Christian474980
Logan471373
Montgomery459776
Lee452456
Bureau421687
Perry407770
Saline393562
Iroquois389170
Fayette385256
McDonough350855
Jersey318753
Douglas301236
Shelby296943
Crawford294030
Union292445
Lawrence291031
Wayne263956
White259229
Richland254052
Hancock250934
Pike249456
Cass245628
Bond241524
Clark241038
Ford232755
Clay230547
Edgar226844
Carroll223637
Warren218655
Johnson207821
Moultrie206730
Washington203827
Jo Daviess201624
Greene197738
Mason194551
Wabash193715
Massac192643
De Witt191230
Piatt188314
Mercer185434
Cumberland172423
Menard154112
Jasper148718
Marshall132721
Hamilton125720
Brown10127
Pulaski96711
Schuyler9568
Edwards94015
Stark75426
Gallatin7214
Scott6885
Alexander66011
Calhoun6342
Henderson62614
Hardin55413
Putnam5414
Pope4685
Unassigned1192432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461