Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday that he will sign an executive order requiring Hoosiers to wear face coverings in most public settings, beginning Monday.
“As we continue to monitor the data, we’ve seen a concerning change in some of our key health indicators,” 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.
Physicians have applauded Indiana’s face mask mandate to contain COVID-19.
The following is a statement from Dr. Lisa Hatcher, MD, president of the Indiana State Medical Association in response to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s announcement that face masks will be mandated statewide for Hoosiers effective July 27.
Statement from Dr. Lisa Hatcher, MD, president of ISMA
“The Indiana State Medical Association applauds Gov. Holcomb’s courageous leadership to require face masks for all Hoosiers throughout the state. This mandate is a necessary step to reverse the rising trend of COVID-19 and protect Indiana’s health care system from further strain. Face masks are a proven and effective tool to prevent transmission of the coronavirus and will allow Hoosiers to more safely visit their doctors for the preventive and ongoing care needed to stay healthy.”
Hoosiers are encouraged to visit HoosierDoctors.org for tips during the pandemic on when to seek care from a physician’s office, a hospital or through telehealth, and how to obtain health insurance.