Do People in Indianapolis, Indiana Need to Wear Masks?

Face coverings are mandatory for all people in state concentration centers, such as prisons, state hospitals, and homes for veterans. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced in a statewide speech Tuesday that in two weeks the state will no longer order all Indianaans to wear masks in public places, follow social distancing guidelines, sit while eating or drinking in a restaurant or bar, or limit the size of social gatherings. However, local authorities and businesses can still require the use of masks. The governor also noted that local governments are still empowered to issue their own public health orders, including a directive on masks or other restrictions.

In addition, masks and other COVID-19 prevention protocols will continue to be required in all state government buildings and at COVID-19 vaccination and testing centers until further notice. The state will offer more mass vaccination clinics in April and more mobile vaccine distribution events, and Indiana plans to partner with large employers in the coming weeks to vaccinate its workers while they work. Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to be vaccinated in Indiana, including residents of Illinois. Appointments should be made online on the ourshot website, or by calling 211 within Indiana. Indianapolis Public School officials cite new guidelines from the Indiana Department of Health and the decline in the number of COVID cases in their decision to stop requiring face masks. Indianapolis Public Schools has become the latest district in Indiana to end mandatory masking for students and staff, as the state eliminates COVID protocols for schools. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, new cases and hospitalizations remain at rates Indiana hasn't seen since February.

Matt Lehman, Republican from Berne, said the legislation will ensure that the Legislature has a seat at the table if a future governor facing a state emergency is not interested in listening to legislators. In conclusion, while face masks are no longer mandatory for all people in public places across Indiana, local authorities and businesses can still require their use. In addition, masks will continue to be needed in government buildings in Lake County and in branches of the Lake County Public Library until further notice. Vaccines are available for anyone over 16 years old who lives or works in Indiana.

Rickie Koning
Rickie Koning

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