INDIANAPOLIS– Governor Eric Holcomb announced Indiana will begin mandating face coverings statewide starting Monday, July 27.
The mandate will apply to anyone 8 years old or older in indoor public spaces, commercial entities, transportation services and outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible, FOX59 reports.
Mask use in schools will be required for students in 3rd grade and up. It will apply for faculty and staff, volunteers and anyone else in the schools.
Masks will also be required for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, as well as on the school bus.
Exemptions will be made for the following:
- Medical purposes
- Strenuous physical activity
- Eating and drinking
Masks are strongly recommended, but not required, for children 2-7 years old.
There is no set expiration time for the mandate. Holcomb said it will continue as long as its needed.
Violating the order could result in a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a potential 180-day jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000. Holcomb made a point to say that the “mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets.”
When speaking about schools, Gov. Holcomb said the state won’t create mandates, expectations or guidelines for when schools should reopen. He will leave it up to local school districts, but is asking they consider opening up to help families that can’t afford to stay home with their kids.
On Wednesday, ISDH reported 763 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 58,673 and 2,666 respectively.