Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has announced that he will be signing an Executive Order on Thursday, July 23, that will mandate masks statewide with certain exceptions.
The Executive Order requiring masks throughout Indiana will go into effect on Monday, July 27.
The mandatory mask order applies to anyone 8-years-old and above in indoor public spaces, commercial buildings or transportation services, and in outside public places where social distancing can't be maintained.
In schools, the use of masks will be required for grades 3 and up. Faculty, staff, volunteers, and anyone else in schools will be required to wear a mask.
Holcomb said on Wednesday that masks will also be required for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, with exceptions for strenuous physical activity.
The order will also have exceptions for medical purposes, disabilities, exercising, and eating and drinking.
Failure to wear a mask under the specifications of the Executive Order will be a Class B misdemeanor - though Holcomb said that “the mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets.”
The executive order states that a penalty can be levied under the authority of state law. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.
Holcomb said there were several determining factors in issuing the Executive Order, including an increase in the state's COVID-19 positivity rate, an increase in the number of Hoosiers hospitalized for COVID-19, getting Indiana children back to school, and keeping Indiana businesses open and operating.
Locally, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's mask mandate went into effect on July 15 and was extended an additional seven days before its expiration, prior to Holcomb's Wednesday announcement of a statewide mask mandate.