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Indiana News

Gov. Holcomb Creates Mask Mandate, Kicks In Monday

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BREAKING NEWS: As of July 27 Indiana residents will be required to wear masks in certain situations. Gov. Eric Holcomb said the order will apply to anyone ages 8 and older in any indoor public or business areas and at outdoor public spaces when sufficient distancing can’t be maintained. Gov. Holcomb made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. He listed a host of reasons why he feels this is necessary. He says compliance and enforcement of a mask mandate are always in question. He says he is appealing to one's civic duty to comply with it. He says "the mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets." 

However, not wearing a mask will be classified as a Class B misdemeanor under Indiana state law. 

Gov. Holcomb cites the importance of getting kids back to school safely as part of his reasoning for moving to a mask mandate. 

Holcomb says the mask mandate will include schools and apply to students in the third grade and above. He say all teachers, staff and volunteers will need to wear a mask. 

He says there will be exceptions to the mandate for medical conditions, exercise, eating and drinking. 

Gov. Holcomb also mentioned that numbers are rising in some counties where COVID-19 had not previously been a big problem. In naming a list of those counties, he name checked Kosciusko County as a county of concern. 

Holcomb says when he sees what is happening in other states and with getting guidance from the U.S. Surgeon General (who is a Hoosier) he became increasingly confident that a mask mandate was the way to go. 

Holcomb says he hopes to avoid having the state go backward with its reopening plans. He thinks a mask mandate will help prevent that. 

How long will the mask mandate last? There is no end date on it at this time. Holcomb says it will end when the data indicates it is safe to do so. Holcomb notes that even President Trump said that "this is going to get worse." He hopes those kinds of messages will get through to Hoosiers who are opposed to wearing a mask. Holcomb says he will sign the executive order Thursday and he wanted to give people and communities time to prepare so that is why it does not take effect until Monday. 

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