All Hoosiers 16 and older to be eligible for vaccine by March 31; Face mask restrictions reduced to advisory April 6

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) — Gov. Eric Holcomb announced all Hoosiers age 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as of March 31 pending a large shipment of vaccine from the federal government.

Holcomb says the state is prepared to expand vaccinations efforts beyond it’s 500 vaccination clinics.

“We’ll expand our reach by using a large employer vaccination program that has been in the works for weeks now to provide an even more convenient way to get vaccinated. We’ll schedule more vaccination clinics in April,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb also announced that he is renewing the public health emergency for another 30 days starting April 1, which he said helps efficiency in the state’s response to the pandemic. Current COVID restrictions will be extended through April 5, due to the high number of out-of-state visitors in Indiana right now.

On April 6, however, all decisions on venue capacity will turned over to local authorities, with the state providing metrics to help guide those decisions.

“Local governments, businesses, and other entities may impose stricter guidelines such as keeping face coverings in their facilities,” Holcomb said.

April 6 will also be the date that the state’s mask mandate becomes a mask advisory. Face masks and social distancing will be encouraged but not enforced.

“The State Department of Health will continue to provide county metrics each week, color coded. Which are key to knowing if the virus levels are increasing or decreasing locally. The metrics will be guidelines for local consideration,” Holcomb said.

“Let me tell you,” Holcomb said, “no matter how humbled I am by our loss, I’ve never been prouder because of the Hoosier spirit itself, Indiana rose to the challenge time and time again.”

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