2 more Indiana counties join others in mandating face masks

Face Mask Mandate

At least three other northern Indiana counties, along with the cities of Indianapolis, Evansville and West Lafayette also have imposed mask requirements.

Posted: Jul 18, 2020 1:36 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At least two more Indiana counties on Friday joined the growing list of local governments in the state mandating the wearing of face masks while in public as the state has seen recent growth in the number of coronavirus hospitalizations.

The new requirements were adopted by officials in Monroe County, home to Bloomington and Indiana University’s main campus, and northern Indiana’s LaPorte County.

At least three other northern Indiana 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.

Indiana high school marching band competitions are being called off for this fall while school officials weigh how and whether to have children back in classrooms for the new school year.

Overcrowding also has prompted the closure of more Lake Michigan beaches.

The LaPorte County order was approved by a 2-1 vote by county commissioners Wednesday.

It requires masks for adults and children 3 years and older in any indoor public area and outdoors when they can’t stay at least 6 feet away from people outside their household.

County Commissioner Vidya Kora, a physician, said he believed face coverings were a small sacrifice to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

“I really think wearing a mask is an act of kindness, compassion, respect, humility and love for your fellow human beings,” Kora said.

Similar mask requirements have been issued in nearby St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

Holcomb announced Wednesday that Indiana would continue limiting crowd sizes for restaurants, bars and public events until at least the end of July as the state has seen its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since mid-June.

Holcomb has repeatedly said he would support local officials across Indiana’s 92 counties who choose to adopt mask requirements while not seeing a statewide mandate as necessary now.

“We’re in a state where the numbers could be very different county by county, even region by region,” Holcomb said Wednesday. “We’re comfortable where we are right now working with local leaders.”

The state health department on Friday reported 747 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, pushing Indiana’s seven-day daily average to 650, which is the highest it has been since early May.

It also reported eight more deaths from the disease, raising the state’s death toll to 2,803 since mid-March.

Coronavirus hospitalizations dipped slightly to 815 as of Thursday, but that remained above levels last seen in mid-June.

Indiana had seen a steady decline in hospitalizations since being over 1,400 a day through April into early May before the recent trend upward.

The mayor of Michigan City, which is in LaPorte County, closed its Lake Michigan beaches effective Friday, citing large crowds that include many out-of-state visitors.

That move comes after Whiting’s mayor shut down its Lake Michigan beach near the Indiana-Illinois state line on Wednesday, also because of overcrowding.

The Monroe County mask order requires businesses to enforce compliance by their customers, with those failing to do so potentially being forced to close.

“What we want is cooperation and compliance,” Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill said. “But if we are put in a position where we have to issue a fine, that would be a possibility.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
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