The mandatory face mask order for the State of Indiana remains in effect through at least Nov. 14.
Back in July, Governor Eric Holcomb cited several reasons for the order including an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate and an increase in the number of Hoosiers who are hospitalized with the virus, an increase in cases and positivity rates in neighboring states, the priority to get children back to school, and to keep Indiana businesses open and operating.
The mask order is in effect for all residents 8 years or older when in public indoor spaces, when using public transportation and in outdoor spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
It will also require students in the 3rd grade and above to wear masks.
There will be exceptions for exercise, eating, drinking or if you have a medical condition to prevents it.
Holcomb said enforcement will begin with education and appealing to Hoosiers’ civic duty and pride. He said not wearing a mask will be a Class B misdemeanor, but that the “mask police will not be patrolling the streets”.
Governor Holcomb’s office sent the following news release regarding the face mask mandate:
Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced he will sign an executive order requiring Hoosiers to wear face coverings in most public settings.
“As we continue to monitor the data, we’ve seen a concerning change in some of our key health indicators,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Hoosiers have worked hard to help re-open our state, and we want to remain open. By masking up, we can and will save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
A mask or other face covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas and t-shirts. The mouth and nose should be covered.
The executive order will require face coverings for anyone 8 years old or older in the following places:
- Public indoor spaces and commercial entities
- While using public transportation or other vehicle services such as a taxi or ride share
- Outdoor public spaces when it’s not possible to socially distance from people not in the same household
Additionally, face coverings will be required in schools for students in the third grade and above, faculty, staff, volunteers and anyone else in schools. Mask are also required for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities with exceptions for strenuous physical activity.
The order will have exceptions for medical purposes, disabilities, exercising, and eating and drinking.
The state will approach enforcement of the face covering requirement with an emphasis on education. The executive order states a penalty can be levied under the authority of state law. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.
Once signed, the executive order will be found here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm