Governor Eric Holcomb signed an executive order Wednesday that will reduce the mask mandate to a mask advisory April 6. Shelby County will follow the state’s advisory and not place more restrictions.
The mandate solely requires face coverings to be worn in government buildings or on government property, at COVID vaccination sites and in public schools.
In all other public places, Holcomb is encouraging but not requiring Hoosiers wear face coverings when they can not maintain six feet of social distancing.
“I just finished a meeting a few moments ago with the county commissioners and the health department and Dr. Phil Batton, and the discussion ended with the city and the county and the hospital facilities will still require masks to be worn and social distancing,” Mayor Tom DeBaun said.
“Anything beyond that will be upon the direction of the individual business that, just like wearing shirts and shoes, they can also require a mask and we are strongly recommending masks be worn in public settings,” he continued.
Shelby County was designated Blue on the state’s Novel 2019 Coronavirus Map. The number of positive cases has been mostly on the decline since the new year started.
DeBaun expressed concern about a resurgence following the spring break trips.
“I personally think the mask mandate was lifted too soon. I think it should’ve run until the end of April at least, because we know several people travelled during spring break and I have a concern aobut resurgence,” the mayor said. “However, I think personal responsibility is important as well and I hope people will take it upon themselves to wear their masks and observe their social distancing.”
On March 31, Hoosiers 16 years of age and older became eligible to receive the vaccine. Shelby County now has four vaccination locations: MHP Medical Center, the Shelby County Health Department, the Walmart Pharmacy and the Kroger Pharmacy. Other out of county locations can be found at https://www. coronavirus.in.gov.
Vaccination appointments can be scheduled at https://vaccine.coronavirus.in.gov/en-US/.
Neighboring Marion County will continue with the mask mandate and business capacity limits, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced in response to Holcomb’s order.
Shelby County will be joining other donut counties Madison and Johnson in easing restrictions.