face mask mandate

St. Joseph County businesses can now be fined up to $250 for failing to enforce mask-wearing among employees. The County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to pass the enforcement order Tuesday morning. 

District 3 Commissioner Deb Fleming voted against the ordinance, citing her concern about what she says is a lack of scientific evidence that face masks effectively slow the spread of COVID-19. Many scientists and doctors claim otherwise.

Emma Atkinson/WTIU

After months of back and forth, the St. Joseph County Council finally passed an ordinance Tuesday night that will allow the county health department to enforce its face mask order.

Under the ordinance, businesses – not individuals – can be fined up to $250 for failing to require face masks when six feet of physical distance can’t be maintained. 

County Health Officer Bob Einterz has been trying to pass this measure since July. Though it’s been a long road, he said he’s glad to see elected officials reach a compromise. 

Holcomb: Indiana Staying At Stage 5 With Face Coverings, Dr. Box Has COVID-19

Oct 14, 2020
Provided by the State of Indiana

Gov. Eric Holcomb and state officials announced that in spite of surging COVID-19 cases, the state will remain at Stage 5 in the reopening plan with face masks still required. This will be in place through mid-November, however, Gov. Holcomb says he will revisit this next week. 

Today Dr. Kris Box, the state's top health official, announced she has tested positive for COVID-19. Her daughter and grandson have the virus as well. Gov. Holcomb and other state officials will be tested for COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon as a precaution following Box's positive test. Holcomb says he will quarantine until he gets the results of his test. Box says she is asymptomatic so far. 

Holcomb says that large gatherings aren't the problem, but rather small gatherings like weddings, funerals, house parties, etc. He says Hoosiers becoming complacent about the virus is the "literal definiation of whistling past the graveyard." He also said that "wearing a mask is a lay up." 

He says that the state will be putting more effort toward trying to help counties that are in orange or red on the state's COVID-19 map. As of Wednesday, counties in our area that are now in orange include Elkhart, LaGrange, Kosciusko and Starke. Supports that may be offered to such counties include help with more testing and contact tracing. 

State health officials also announced there has been a technical issue with the dashboard and there may be a surge of unreported numbers coming in the future. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Elections workers in Elkhart County will have to wear masks while manning the polls — that’s after the county’s Board of Elections voted to mandate them at a meeting Wednesday night.

Carol Smith, chief deputy of elections for Elkhart County, said the board’s decision was based on Governor Holcomb’s mask mandate, guidance from the Elkhart County Health Department and a letter from the Secretary of State that advised elections workers to wear masks.

Smith said that all public comment at the meeting was in favor of mandating masks.

Justin Hicks/WVPE

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.


Face masks will be required throughout the entire state of Indiana starting Monday following an executive order signed by Governor Eric Holcomb. But some officials in northern Indiana are unsure how and if the mandate can be enforced.

In a Facebook posting, Elkhart Co. Sheriff Jeff Siegel has weighed in on the upcoming statewide face mask mandate set to take effect Monday. 

In a post Siegel says, "My stance is the same now as it was when the county mandated masks. This is not enforceable much like the previous mandate by the health officer. My officers have not and will not enforce this. "

Elkhart County has held at Stage 4 in Indiana's reopening plan due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The rest of Indiana moved to Stage 4.5.

Friday afternoon, the Elkhart Police Department issued its position on how city officers will respond to the new mandate. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’s confident he has the legal authority for his order requiring Hoosiers to wear masks in public.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday Indiana would join neighboring states in a statewide mask mandate, starting Monday, July 27. He signed the executive order on Friday.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Attorney General Curtis Hill, in a non-binding opinion, says Gov. Eric Holcomb doesn’t have the authority to mandate Hoosiers wear masks in public or attach a criminal penalty to that order.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Officials in Indiana's second-largest county and one of the largest Indianapolis suburbs have adopted face mask mandates for residents and businesses in an attempt to slow the coronavirus spread. The mandates throughout northwestern Indiana's Lake County took effect Monday, while the order for the city of Fishers will take effect Friday. Mask requirements have previously been issued for the cities of Indianapolis, Evansville and West Lafayette, along with Monroe, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties.  Gov.

LaPorte County Joins Others In Mandating Face Masks

Jul 17, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Northern Indiana's LaPorte County has become the latest local government in the state with a mandate for people to wear face masks while in public as the state has seen a recent growth in coronavirus hospitalizations. At least three other nearby counties, along with the cities of Indianapolis, Evansville and West Lafayette also have imposed mask requirements. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has encouraged the wearing of face coverings but has declined to issue a statewide mandate. The LaPorte County order took effect Friday. County Commissioner Dr.

Indianapolis Officials Ordering Mandatory Face Masks

Jul 2, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Face masks will be required in all public places in Indianapolis beginning next week, despite a recent decline in confirmed coronavirus cases in the city. Mayor Joe Hogsett said Thursday that the new mandate takes effect July 9. It requires face coverings in all indoor public spaces unless a person is alone in an office or eating at a restaurant. The Indianapolis mandate follows similar mask requirements by officials in St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties in northern Indiana. Gov.

Elkhart County Issues Face Mask Order Effective Tuesday

Jun 29, 2020
Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Starting Tuesday face masks will be required in Elkhart County in public when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. This order comes after a continued surge of COVID-19 cases in the county.