Indiana COVID-19: IN Stories 561 New Coronavirus Instances, three Extra Deaths As Governor Eric Holcomb’s Face Masks Mandate Goes In Impact
The nationwide mask mandate comes into force without the originally promised bite. Some people expect the requirement to be met with resistance.
Governor Eric Holcomb rejected the idea of imposing fines or criminal penalties on those who fail to comply with the order.
“I think he did the right thing because you know that sometimes certain laws are abused,” said Wayne Morris, an East Chicago resident.
LaAzteca, a small family-owned grocery store in Hammond, has had its own mask with no mask and no service for the past few weeks. There are signs all over the doors.
While some customers are grateful for this, management said a small percentage have encountered resistance.
“I’m just trying to explain to them,” Hey, it’s not just about our well-being and the well-being of my employees, it’s also about the well-being of other customers and your own well-being, “said Javier Carrillo of La Azteca.
Meanwhile, Javier Carrillo says his business is giving out free masks to customers who don’t have any.
Indiana health officials reported 561 new COVID-19 cases and 3 more deaths on Monday, just days after Holcomb dropped a penalty for mask violators. The Indiana Department of Health confirmed a total of 62,907 positive coronavirus cases in the state, including 2,709 deaths. 707,791 tests were performed with a positivity rate of 8.9%.
As the positivity rate drops to 9% and the number of coronavirus cases in Indiana continues to rise, the state has taken a number of steps, including expanding capacity limits for indoor businesses.
Some communities have closed beaches frequented by those on the Illinois side of the border. So far, however, the subject of masks has only been a recommendation.
Lake County, Indiana, issued a mandate last week
Governor Holcomb himself hopes to enforce compliance through education.
The nationwide arrangement for face masks applies to people aged 8 and over in public indoor or business areas as well as in public outdoor areas if sufficient distance cannot be maintained. The order took effect on Monday.
Holcomb said his assignment will also require masks in schools from third grade upwards for students, teachers and other employees. Holcomb said renewed growth in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations required mask order.
Masks are not required for those with certain medical reasons or for those who engage in strenuous physical activity. Eating and drinking is also an exception.
However, the Attorney General believes that the governor has exceeded his powers in issuing a statewide face mask mandate and that only lawmakers can make violations a criminal offense. Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill gave an opinion Wednesday night, just hours after Holcomb announced the mask ordinance, which was due to come into effect on Monday, to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The statement does not block the governor’s action. Hill is on his way out of office after failing to win the Republican nomination for re-election after allegedly groping four women while drunk.
The Senate Republican leader praised Holcomb’s decision to drop the possible offense.
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The state has extended its current restaurant and bar capacity limits, as well as other restrictions, for at least another two weeks as coronavirus cases rise across the state. Holcomb delayed lifting these limits for the first time two weeks ago, but said Wednesday that a persistently volatile environment in Indiana and other states had caused it to keep them in place for at least two more weeks. Holcomb’s decision means that Indiana restaurants will continue to have 75% capacity in their dining rooms while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums, and movie theaters can be open at half capacity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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