Hoosiers: Will your county require masks?
Masks will no longer be required on April 6 in Indiana under Governor Eric Holcomb’s public health guidelines.
County officials, however, have the authority to make those rules stricter. With one week until the statewide mask mandate expires, there is still much to decide at the local level in terms of public health orders and ordinances.
Below is an overview of where each Indiana county stands on local mask mandates.
St. Joseph County:
Starting April 1, any business open to customers must continue to provide hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol. Face coverings are still required in enclosed public spaces or businesses when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. There are medical exemptions to the rule. In addition, if everyone in the enclosed space has either previously been infected with coronavirus or have been fully vaccinated, there is an exemption.
Health Officer Dr. Tony Pechin said the LaGrange community has been split down the middle when it comes to masking up. LaGrange was one of the first counties to enforce a mask order, according to Pechin. The current health order does not have an expiration date, but Pechin said the county plans to dissolve the order and follow Governor Holcomb’s advisory come April 6.
A public health order is still in effect for Pulaski, as the county sits in the yellow advisory level on Tuesday. Health officials said the main concern is the potential spread within businesses and restaurants. Pulaski County will likely follow the mask recommendation on April 6, according to health officials.
Starke County has been following similar guidelines in terms of masks and social distancing. There is no enforcement or fines, according to health officials. Businesses are required to post signage to follow public health advice. Health officials said they plan to re-evaluate the current plan month to month, but expects masks to be required until at least after spring break.
Health officials in Fulton County said they went back and forth at the start of the pandemic, but ended up not enforcing a mask mandate. The county will follow Governor Holcomb’s orders as they come, according to health officials.
Face coverings, good sanitization and requiring businesses to post preventative measures are still in effect. Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Bethany Wait said she is not ready to decide on the mask mandate as of Tuesday until getting more guidance from the state. Specifically, Dr. Wait said she wants to see the Governor’s final executive order and what the order entails for large gatherings before deciding to extend or dissolve the mandate.
La Porte County:
In La Porte, there is a mask mandate in place with no expiration date. The order went into effect on July 17. Health officials plan to meet Tuesday to finalize plans after the statewide mandate expires.
ABC57 reached out to Marshall County Health Department and did not immediately hear back.
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