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Holcomb Reverses Course: No Penalty In Mask Mandate

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Justin Hicks/WVPE
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Gov. Eric Holcomb reversed course Friday – the executive order establishing a statewide mask mandate will include no criminal penalty.

That comes after significant pressure over the mandate from some Republican lawmakers and local law enforcement officials.

Holcomb emphasized in his announcement Wednesday that the order wouldn’t focus on enforcement.

“The mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets,” Holcomb said.

But now, the police can’t be involved. State law says the penalty for violating provisions under an emergency declaration is a class B misdemeanor. But Holcomb’s mask order says only state and local health departments will enforce compliance, and only via education.

The executive order, which takes effect Monday, also carves out a significant exception for private offices and workspaces and at religious services, while observing social distancing.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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