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: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1091623

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1268061406
Cuyahoga1132982134
Hamilton804211211
Montgomery518231015
Summit47606955
Lucas42618792
Butler38548585
Stark32661909
Lorain25199486
Warren24390300
Mahoning21795588
Lake20846371
Clermont19880240
Delaware18608133
Licking16488212
Fairfield16327200
Trumbull16196468
Medina15379266
Greene15143244
Clark14096299
Wood13168189
Portage12966206
Allen11740232
Richland11433199
Miami10713220
Wayne8923214
Columbiana8881229
Muskingum8831133
Pickaway8596121
Marion8561136
Tuscarawas8509245
Erie7958155
Hancock6944128
Ashtabula6904172
Ross6876156
Geauga6741148
Scioto6444102
Belmont5978168
Union575448
Lawrence5590102
Jefferson5583151
Huron5462120
Sandusky5380122
Darke5374126
Seneca5311122
Washington5228109
Athens520858
Auglaize494986
Mercer481585
Shelby470293
Knox4513110
Madison439363
Putnam4301101
Ashland426590
Fulton426469
Defiance424697
Crawford3993107
Brown397557
Logan383276
Preble381398
Clinton374163
Ottawa369081
Highland356862
Williams343475
Champaign335358
Guernsey317653
Jackson314152
Perry295950
Morrow287239
Fayette283550
Hardin271964
Henry270366
Coshocton266157
Holmes2625101
Van Wert244263
Adams240053
Pike238634
Gallia236749
Wyandot232155
Hocking216462
Carroll192448
Paulding174340
Meigs145540
Noble134137
Monroe132542
Harrison109637
Morgan108823
Vinton84915
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
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Angola
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
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Feels Like: 56°
Van Wert
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Tuesday will be a mostly cloudy and warm day with the chance of a few afternoon thundershowers.
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