Indiana mask mandate goes into effect

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – All Indiana residents are now required to wear face masks in public spaces.

Gov. Eric Holcomb made the announcement last week during his weekly COVID-19 update.

Holcomb had previously left it up to local leaders to decide on mask enforcement. The shift comes as coronavirus cases continue rising and areas that had previously not seen many cases now spiking. The state’s positivity rate now stands at 9% and hospitalizations are on their way up.

Indiana is still under stage 4.5 of the governor’s reopening plans. Under the stage, schools can still reopen. Holcomb however, said that getting back in the classroom is still a local decision. Governor Holcomb said one of the biggest reasons for the mandate was for school children. He said it was important for kids to see a consistent message.

Not wearing a mask would be considered a Class B Misdemeanor. Although, Holcomb said he won’t have the “mask police” patrolling the streets.

Here’s what the mandate means for you:
Masks or face coverings are required for everyone 8 years and older who are in public indoor spaces or outside and if they cannot socially distance.

Public indoor spaces include grocery stores and malls. The face coverings are also required on public transportation and, again, outside where social distancing is not possible.

For schools, masks or face coverings are required for students from third grade and up. The mandate applies to all faculty and staff members. Exceptions will be made for students engaging in rigorous sports.

Holcomb said exceptions for all residents are those with medical conditions and when people are eating or drinking.

You can read more on the state’s response here and the latest data here