INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Starting Tuesday, face coverings are no longer mandated by Indiana as the state moves into an advisory phase for residents moving forward.
Though masks are becoming an advisory, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb still recommends wearing the mask and social distancing. One health official believes wearing masks is still beneficial but says there aren’t many options for the governor.
“I think the mask mandate moving to an advisory, I would like to see the mask mandate continued but I think from the governor’s point of view I don’t think there’s any other way that he can do that,” said Dr. Alan Stewart, Knox County Health Officer. “There’s really a lot of pressure to discontinue the mask mandate.”
Business owners such as Blake Kramer of 5th Street Nutrition and Crossroads Nutrition will have the option on deciding whether they will require a mask or not.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect us that much,” said Kramer. “I know that in the store, all of our employees will be having their face coverings on all the time and if customers want to do it, they’re more than welcome to but we will not be mandating it.”
The mask mandate will end just as Indianapolis winds up hosting every game in this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament.
“I think I do know that’s why they made it for tomorrow is because the basketball — which Indiana was very fortunate to have, the entire March Madness in the state of Indiana — and the discontinuation of the mask mandate was made for when that would be over,” said Dr. Stewart. “It was kept in place for that period of time and I think that was a very wise move.”
Face coverings will still be mandated at certain locations across the state, such as state government buildings, vaccine clinics and schools.