Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb extends statewide mask order for 30 days

Holcomb first issued the mask order last month because of a renewed growth in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across Indiana since he had started easing business and travel restrictions in early May.

Posted: Aug 26, 2020 6:16 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2020 9:48 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s statewide face mask order will remain in place for another month as Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday it was still needed to control the coronavirus spread.

Holcomb first issued the mask order last month because of a renewed growth in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across Indiana since he had started easing business and travel restrictions in early May.

Indiana governor Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday afternoon that he will extend the statewide face mask mandate by another 30 days.

Mask Up Hoosiers

The Republican governor he was also extending the state’s limits on crowd sizes for restaurants, bars and public events.

Those orders were all set to expire late Wednesday unless the governor acted.

Holcomb said he was pleased the state’s rate of new coronavirus cases has been holding steady in recent weeks and “we don’t want that to trend up. We’d like to see it start to trend down.”

No penalties are included in Holcomb’s order for violators of the state mask mandate, which directs face covering use by anyone ages 8 and older in any indoor public or business areas and at outdoor public spaces when sufficient distancing can’t be maintained.

It also requires masks in schools for grades 3 and above by students, teachers and other employees.

Holcomb acknowledged many residents aren’t following the order to wear face masks and said he would continue emphasizing education over penalties.

“There are some folks who don’t believe it helps,” Holcomb said. “I would disagree and offer science as the counterargument to that.”

Democratic governor candidate Woody Myers, who is challenging Holcomb in the November election, said Holcomb should join other governors by including possible criminal penalties in the mask mandate.

“Ensuring ‘law and order’ is a critical component of public health management,” said Myers, a physician and former state health commissioner.

Holcomb’s announcement means Indiana restaurants will continue to be allowed 75% capacity in their dining rooms, while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums and movie theaters can be open at half capacity.

The state will also continue its current 250-person limit on social gatherings unless health officials have approved safety plans for those events.

State health officials on Wednesday recorded 18 more coronavirus-related deaths.

That raised the state’s pandemic death toll to 3,259, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases, in the five months since Indiana’s first fatality was reported in mid-March, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Indiana’s COVID-19 death rate has remained steady since the mask order took effect July 27.

Both coronavirus hospitalizations and the seven-day average of 920 newly confirmed infections as of Tuesday have remained slightly higher than a month ago.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, said while Indiana hospital’s had maintained stable intensive care unit and ventilator capacity for additional coronavirus patients, the statewide hospitalization of 987 COVID-19 patients as of Monday was up nearly two-thirds from June’s low of 595 patients.

Holcomb said he wasn’t setting a certain level of coronavirus cases at which the state restrictions would be lifted but that he believed the mask order and other steps were keeping the COVID-19 spread in check.

“I shudder to think about where we’d be had we just said ‘Come what may,’ we’re just going to continue to act like this isn’t an infectious virus that’s spreading through airborne droplets,” Holcomb said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117450

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21403766
Lake10618323
Elkhart6667111
St. Joseph6576110
Allen6292203
Hamilton4909109
Vanderburgh371931
Hendricks2747123
Monroe262736
Tippecanoe252313
Johnson2338124
Clark223657
Porter217647
Delaware198562
Cass19549
Vigo184327
Madison168975
LaPorte147441
Floyd138963
Warrick134440
Howard131863
Kosciusko124817
Bartholomew117957
Marshall101224
Dubois99119
Boone98646
Grant93334
Hancock93243
Noble92532
Henry80926
Jackson7689
Wayne76814
Morgan72938
Daviess67728
Shelby67729
Dearborn66528
LaGrange63911
Clinton60914
Harrison58724
Putnam58112
Gibson5305
Knox5259
Lawrence51529
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48711
White48614
Decatur45839
Miami4383
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper3992
Steuben3877
Scott38111
Posey3400
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31125
Ripley3038
Clay3025
Orange28824
Whitley2796
Carroll27713
Adams2743
Wabash2718
Washington2691
Starke2677
Wells2654
Spencer2593
Jefferson2483
Huntington2453
Fulton2412
Tipton22822
Perry22113
Randolph2207
Jay1880
Newton17311
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1621
Rush1574
Vermillion1300
Fountain1282
Blackford1203
Pulaski1131
Crawford1080
Brown1043
Parke1032
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 150809

Reported Deaths: 4741
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26961607
Cuyahoga17490656
Hamilton13191315
Montgomery7883163
Lucas7322364
Butler6040111
Summit5332252
Marion310347
Warren309649
Mahoning3073281
Stark2883175
Pickaway267844
Lorain231786
Delaware228120
Fairfield211853
Licking193663
Columbiana193280
Wood190272
Trumbull1896132
Clark181040
Clermont173123
Lake163851
Medina147539
Greene146533
Miami145451
Allen144169
Portage115566
Mercer113218
Erie94647
Tuscarawas93620
Wayne93668
Richland90319
Ross89024
Madison83012
Darke80442
Geauga72349
Belmont72227
Hancock71210
Athens7072
Ashtabula65948
Lawrence65922
Shelby64910
Auglaize6089
Putnam60823
Sandusky57720
Huron5517
Union5452
Scioto5117
Seneca48514
Ottawa46930
Preble44015
Muskingum4213
Holmes3909
Jefferson3364
Defiance32511
Henry31814
Logan3123
Champaign3083
Clinton29913
Perry2989
Brown2902
Knox28615
Jackson2636
Morrow2612
Washington26123
Hardin25613
Fulton2461
Crawford2446
Ashland2424
Coshocton23411
Fayette2326
Highland2303
Williams2133
Wyandot21312
Pike2000
Gallia19113
Meigs17610
Guernsey1708
Hocking1669
Carroll1527
Adams1354
Van Wert1233
Monroe11018
Paulding1100
Harrison643
Morgan490
Vinton473
Noble330
Unassigned00
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