Holcomb announces statewide mask mandate starting Monday

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 ~ Updated 3:11 PM
Even in Robe-Ann Park, if you can't social distance, it will be necessary come Monday to wear a mask following Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's mandatory mask initiative.
Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana will have a statewide face mask mandate starting next week, joining many other states in the attempt to slow the coronavirus spread, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday.

The order will apply to anyone ages 8 and older in any indoor public or business areas and at outdoor public spaces when sufficient distancing can’t be maintained. The order will take effect Monday. No end date has been given.

Holcomb said his order will also require masks in schools for grades 3 and above by students, teachers and other employees.

Holcomb said a renewed growth in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations necessitated the mask order. He said he did not want Indiana to have to follow other states and restore business restrictions that had been lifted in the past couple months.

A fresh increase in Indiana’s hospitalizations for coronavirus infections was reported Wednesday by state health officials, keeping that figure stubbornly higher than what it was weeks ago.

The number of people with COVID-19 being treated in Indiana’s intensive care units also has grown to about 50 percent more than earlier this month, soon after Gov. Eric Holcomb cited concerns about additional cases in delaying any steps toward lifting restrictions on businesses and crowd sizes.

Holcomb has previously supported plans for allowing fans to attend the rescheduled Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which released a safety plan Wednesday for the Aug. 23 race.

Coronavirus hospitalizations jumped by 66 people to 869 as of Tuesday — a figure that’s plunged since peaking in mid-April but has curved back up since late June, according to the state health department. Indiana’s ICU cases grew by 61 people to 328 on Tuesday, up from the low 200s two weeks earlier.

Health officials also reported 17 more deaths of people with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 infections, raising the state’s death toll to 2,863 since mid-March.

The cities of Indianapolis, Evansville, South Bend, Gary, Bloomington and West Lafayette were among those where local officials had imposed face mask mandate prior to Holcomb’s statewide order.

View 44 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Should have been done sooner . I will wear mine and do my part !

    -- Posted by Rainbow6 on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 3:28 PM
  • If this had been implemented in early spring, we'd be through the worst of it by now. At least this will take the burden away from businesses and schools.

    -- Posted by unbiased on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 3:36 PM
  • Yay!

    I asked our mayor and city council to do this locally 4 weeks ago during a public meeting. I was quickly dismissed.

    I wonder how many cases we could have prevented locally?

    Wouldn’t it have been neat to be the city ahead of the rest?

    -- Posted by GladysK on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 4:00 PM
  • *

    So this means we're opening everything back up then, yes? Either the masks work and we can open the floodgates or else they don't, making the capitulating placation pointless.

    Interestingly enough, if Governor RINO really cared about our well being, he'd mandate Nitrile gloves and eye protection, that calloused clod, but pay no heed to that oddity... What we should all be more concerned with is whether thy morbidly obese excellence we all try to avoid smelling over in aisle 9 being hauled around on their motorized thrones aren't infecting anyone with anything after they paw all over your next purchase of Lucky Charms... Will these masks protect you from catching whatever they were picking or scratching at before you caught up with them to hear their lectures about their health demands and your acquiescence? I guess you'll find out with every spoonful of the rainbow you'll be enjoying...

    I know, I know: I'm being melodramatic... It's only a mask, right? I mean, I'm sure their sweaty sausage fingers are clean and that this "invisible enemy" of ours can't surf around on their discarded skin cells, various assortments of body residues, or general stank.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 4:33 PM
  • The mask rebels.... Right after IU has shown the effect versus the rebels............

    -- Posted by 1armyvet on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 4:46 PM
  • Hey GladysK, remember this when they are up for re-election.

    -- Posted by Rainbow6 on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 4:48 PM
  • Way to go DouglasQuaid - not only do you make it political as usual, you throw in some fat shaming and disability discrimination to go along with it. Shame on YOU.

    -- Posted by unbiased on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 5:12 PM
  • I’m with you, DQ. The world has an awful lot of armchair scientists and doctors these days who are just SURE that masks are going to save us from the impending apocalypse. I’d rather carry around a spray bottle of bleach myself.

    -- Posted by techphcy on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 5:42 PM
  • *

    Unbiased, it's a 3-for-1 sale: the inventory has got to GO!


    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 5:44 PM
  • *

    techphcy, it's a messed up time full of extreme reactionaries and what's especially worrisome is the *precedent* that few seem to acknowledge: what happens when we see a Covid-20, 21, etc.?

    I wouldn't be surprised if it gets to the point we have to show proof of inoculation(s) prior to grocery store visits and what's even worse is that nobody is looking at the future to ensure whatever approach we take to overcome this also scales well in other scenarios because trust me, this won't be the last pandemic we deal with (especially once these kings and queens learn how their boundaries of authoritarian control can be bent and twisted into almost anything).

    Consider this all a dry run.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 5:54 PM
  • Better late than never I guess, too bad he didn't do this months ago, we might not be in the situation we are in now.

    -- Posted by BJCP76 on Wed, Jul 22, 2020, at 8:40 PM
  • We have been told social distance to stop the spread. Didn't work. We had businesses close, people lose jobs, some permanently, and Dr. Holcomb was picking and choosing which businesses were "essential" to stop the spread. Didn't work. Now we are finding out about the ones that they are reporting as positive (ie: Motorcyclist dies in accident, had tested positive so they listed as Covid-19 Death, 90 people listed as covid-19 positive, but find out later it was a different strain of Coronavirus, People being told they are Covid-19 positive but never had the test done... Just 3 examples) and now we are told do the masks. hmm....

    -- Posted by tjarboe50 on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 12:26 AM
  • *

    tjarboe50, another thing to think about is that they count "cases" and not "patients" when tallying their counts. So if someone tests positive multiple times, their test cases are added to the total, not the person, and since a multitude of other Covid types can produce false positives, this causes the counts to skyrocket. Not many people know about this.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 7:07 AM
  • I am so glad to hear Putnam County has so many scientists that have been posting above. You all have the answers, most of them you have heard as Facebook followers. As to numbers etc., why do you care? These numbers only apply to the CDC. Many guidelines have been requested and suggested about protection against this virus. But most people ignored these guidelines. So now quit complaining about mask being mandatory 5 months later. You were given a chance to comply. If one would have worn mask at the beginning maybe we would not be in this mess. Everyone should be concerned about their own health and others and that should be their only concern. It is called being unselfish, thinking of others instead of just yourself and RESPECT.

    -- Posted by Nit on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 8:44 AM
  • *

    Nit, where's your sermon about nonexistent Nitrile glove or eye protection mandates? Since we're all more likely to be killed on the highway in a car wreck, why aren't you lecturing us about how only selfish people wouldn't want to forego their automobile possession?

    It's not my responsibility to care for you or anyone else unless I'm the designated guardian. When you lecture people about this, you set yourself up with your own hypocrisy. So go shove your virtue.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 9:15 AM
  • According to the National Safety Council, fewer than 40,000 people died in traffic crashes each of the last two years. More than 140,000 Covid-19 deaths have been reported in the last 6 months. So DQ's claim that we are all more likely to be killed on the hibhway is wrong.

    -- Posted by VolunteerFF on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 9:37 AM
  • We have been told that it spreads through sneezing or coughing, hence social distancing. Then we were told that people who are showing symptoms should self quarantine. Then we were told that people who are showing no symptoms but are positive are spreading it. If your not showing any symptoms then you shouldn't be coughing or sneezing.

    -- Posted by tjarboe50 on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 9:44 AM
  • *

    VolunteerFF, your Covid-19 total includes "presumed deaths" (death counts based on trend data), the conflations we've seen (false postmortems vs. diabetes, heart or lung disease, or car wreck actuals), "case counts" vs. "patient counts" (counts reflecting the number of times someone has been tested vs. counts reflecting the individuals), and false-positives (as other strains have been included in Covid-19 confirmations).

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 10:06 AM
  • The “likelihood” argument also discounts the fact that the COVID numbers will naturally spike and then diminish. Of course during a pandemic you’re more likely to die from a virus, but over time auto accidents will once again become more deadly. Those aren’t going away, but this strain of COVID will.

    How many people died of the plague last year? Spanish flu? Yet at one time they were more deadly than cancer. Harmful microorganisms have large, impressive spikes of death tolls, but averaged out over decades their numbers are far less than those of people who die from smoking or overeating.

    -- Posted by techphcy on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 10:17 AM
  • I don't know if wearing mask will stop or slow down the Covid 19, nor do I know if and how the State will enforce this mandate. I do know that some people who should know better simply will not cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing. We were at a local restaurant , the waitresses and preparers were wearing mask and gloves and all seemed fine. Then a group of ladies came in and of course the one who was not wearing a mask was coughing when she came through the door. Here she came down the aisle next to our table coughing all they way, NEVER once covering her cough. We had just received our food and we just left it on the table. The restaurant did everything they could to ensure cleanliness and provide a safe place to receive a meal and this lady ( in her 50s and a office worker) spread germs throughout the entire restaurant in just a few seconds- with this said I support mandatory mask worn properly.

    -- Posted by happening today on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 10:26 AM
  • *

    "happening today," the only pandemic you'll ever contract is one of misery. If you can't reconcile risk or put your copy of "Lord of the Flies" down long enough to breath without having arrhythmia, then go buy a body condom and down some 'Jack in your home.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 10:43 AM
  • DQ,

    All is well said!! I agree 100%.

    -- Posted by Hmmmmm on Thu, Jul 23, 2020, at 4:24 PM
  • *

    Attorney General Curtis Hill has given a 6-page advisory opinion saying Governor can't do this...


    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 8:37 AM
  • Quit ******** and mask up

    -- Posted by GladysK on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 8:50 AM
  • *

    GladysK, shove your mask.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 9:02 AM
  • *

    GladysK, some of use are not quite as statist as you and actually prefer our dangerous liberties.

    We choose not to wear a mask. We accept the risks. We can accept that you may choose to wear a mask. We have no problem with that. Liberty preserved.

    You choose to wear a mask. You are afraid of the risks. You cannot accept that others may disagree with you. You have a problem with people making their own choices. Liberty denied.

    For you, it is a matter of health/safety/community/or simply following orders - but in your fear you would enslave your fellow countrymen.

    For us, it is a matter of liberty. Forced compliance to anything raises our hackles b/c the government does not cede back power, it simply takes more and grows larger at the expense of individual liberty.

    Most of us see your side of things and while we disagree we wouldn't force you to NOT wear a mask.

    Why cant you try to see our side of things and give us the same consideration by not forcing us to "mask up"?

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 1:23 PM
  • dreadpirateroberts asks: "Why cant you try to see our side of things and give us the same consideration by not forcing us to 'mask up'?"

    It's because your "right" to do something ends when your act risks the health or life of someone else - it's called reckless endangerment. https://codes.findlaw.com/in/title-35-criminal-law-and-procedure/in-code-sect-35...

    Also, let's provide some context for everyone in regards to your citation of the attorney general's opinion, shall we. Even if he had any credibility, without an axe to grind, what you cite is only an opinion and would need to be heard and accepted by the courts before it was binding. However, just since this May, the AG has had his law license suspended by the IN Supreme Court, the governor asked for him to be removed from office, and he had his renomination bid rejected by the Republican party. I'd say this lame duck has an axe to grind, and while that doesn't necessarily make him wrong, it means he has practically no credibility.

    -- Posted by boilermaker93 on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 2:18 PM
  • “Liberty”, they scream as they drink and drive without a seat belt on while simultaneously texting at the wheel as they proceed to the restaurant to walk around without shoes and a shirt on.

    -- Posted by erjvh on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 2:34 PM
  • *

    boilermaker93, not only does the village idiot understand that risk isn't conclusion, but he or she can also see your obtuse conflation and your disregard for nefarious incrementalism. If that's not a personal flaw, then your perception of risk surely is. And say what you want about Curtis Hill's reputation but I once had a broken watch that could still tell correct time twice a day.

    erjvh, your example makes sense except that it's logically inconsistent and shows no signs of conceptual limitation. Hence, a "restrictionist's model," one which has no end except for that which results in complete prohibition of anything and everything which represents any iota of risk that others always get to determine. Call me crazy, but that's not a society anyone wants to live in unless they're the arbiter of said system. It also assigns a blanket template of accountability when many deserve variable treatment. For example, if you're unable to maintain your own diet or adhere to a proper exercise regimen, you'll be more likely to suffer from Covid-19 whereas others excel at that, yet, given the current momentum we see, we'll all be expected to adhere to the constraints of someone who can't accommodate. Again, call me crazy, but I don't think that's just. As much as I'm against influenced operation of vehicles, the same concept technically applies there, too: many people can drink a few beers and still operate vehicles without difficulty whereas others cannot. This same variability should be applied to those preferring to wear fewer clothing in restaurants as well. After all, I have absolutely no qualms with allowing Scarlett Johansson the luxury of wearing as little as she pleases wherever she goes, a freedom I wouldn't entertain for others less...palpable.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 3:01 PM
  • *

    DQ, just one question and one question only so this should be easy and you don't have to respond with a novel.

    Do you or do you not wear a seat belt?

    -- Posted by RSOTS on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 4:10 PM
  • *

    Boilermaker - You forgot one very important part there, Perry Mason... the word SUBSTANTIAL. My not wearing a mask doesn't endanger you at all. All you have to do is exercise your right to stay away from me.

    LOL - I figured someone would try to discredit AG Hill in the way you did simply b/c you dont like his advisory opinion. But I am guessing you understand the law about as well as you understand the Constitution... b/c he clearly spelled out everything! and said that it isn't a matter of wearing/not wearing masks (which he encourages the use of) - its a matter of whether or not the governor has the authority to do what he did.

    But I am gonna guess that you didnt even bother to read it. Wouldn't want it to get in the way of your preconceived notions, would we?

    ERJVH - really?

    If you paid any attention to me for the time I have posted on the BG website you would know that I HATE people that drink/drive and I HATE people that text on their phone while driving b/c these are the people that recklessly endanger/kill innocent people with a 2,000 lb weapon. See above: SUBSTANTIAL RISK

    (And please don't be so stupid as to compare this with not wearing a mask in a grocery store... it's not comparable.)

    I have also said that businesses are free to make their rules as they see fit.

    And I wear a seat-belt b/c I believe they save lives...but I disagree with the government telling me I have to wear a seatbelt. It should be my choice to assume that risk.

    You should try learning about and practicing liberty...its pretty awesome.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 5:19 PM
  • Mask up

    -- Posted by GladysK on Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 7:15 PM
  • DPR and DQ - pretty convinced you are probably the same person with different accounts,nonetheless, you're both idiots. You both ramble on and on, do you think people won't notice that you're making up BS? I notice.

    -- Posted by BJCP76 on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 12:04 AM
  • *

    BJCP76, from past experiences, I've noticed that the local talent pool around these parts get overwhelmed by anything more than a single paragraph or words more complex than "the." Like RSOTS, Nit(wit), and the rest of you sling blades, it probably doesn't take a lot to convince you of all sorts of stuff. All you're good for is what you just did right here: whine about a thing with a few fragmented sentences and paltry efforts of marginalization and then run away without challenging a single idea while convincing yourself, "Yeah, that showed 'em!."

    That's all your type has. What an ironic waste. You do the very thing that you're *trying* to accuse others like me and DP of doing. You're completely worthless.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 11:20 AM
  • *

    Speaking of easily overwhelmed poor DQ was unable to answer one very basic question.

    King of big words and lengthy sentences but truly ignorant after the facade.

    -- Posted by RSOTS on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 4:39 PM
  • *

    It's already been answered, dingus. Since you can't read beyond 2 paragraphs or comprehend anything in them, I'll make it easy for YOU: "It depends." ;.)

    But per-usual, your type can't think beyond their noses about anything. You grasp nothing about any involved complexity of the situations, you gloss over the relative aspects, individuals involved, motivations and or incentives; you pay no heed to the differences between individual resopnsibilities vs. jeopardies of others, risks vs. rewards, subjectivity, etc., etc., etc. It's like you have the mentality of a bot fly.

    RSOTS, your pontoon boat beckons you. Go grab a trusty bottle of '45 and enjoy some sun poisoning...on me.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 6:27 PM
  • *

    DQ, wearing your seatbelt depends on what? Whether you are living in tyranny that day or living in freedom? So some days you just feel like being a sheep?

    -- Posted by RSOTS on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 7:48 PM
  • DPR and DQ - pretty convinced you are probably the same person with different accounts,nonetheless, you're both idiots. You both ramble on and on, do you think people won't notice that you're making up BS? I notice.

    -- Posted by BJCP76 on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 8:38 PM
  • *


    RSOTS, yes, there's absolutely psychology involved. However, it's mostly about maintaining the freedom(s) to enjoy personal preference in a reality the respective individual prefers. Wearing one is technically *optional*, much like the possession of insurance is (as you can own and operate an automobile without it, hence you can own and operate a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt). Of course, I don't always do this and I especially avoid it (not wearing a seatbelt) if given restrictive incentive, such as that found within an enforced environment. Otherwise, I won't wear it but only if I'm okay with the assessed circumstances involved. There's a lot to it, such as risk vs. reward, picking the right battles, determining for myself if it's necessary, any other situational conditions omitted, and yes, mood. There's even more still, hence my responding with, "It depends."

    Now let's get into the philosophy or ethics of it... I (and you should, too) believe that our lives are our own and that their maintenance thereof should be ours to govern completely. If we choose to risk our lives, we should be allowed to (as long as it isn't subjecting others to jeopardy). Of course, herein lies the problem with the mask debates: some view it as putting others in jeopardy. Conceptually, that's true, however, their perception (as noted above and from other sources) is completely based on flawed data. The mask mandate ("blanket assumption plan") assumes infection where none might exist, removes individuality, assumes automatic environmental contamination, disregards logical inconsistency (i.e. - the mask wearer, at best, believes it possible he or she may be infected; which is implied admittance--a trained introspection). The disregard for individual freedom by subjecting the majority to the constraints of a minority is akin to compelling speech just because the few find certain words disrespectful or offensive. It symbolizes "implied law" based on vague-if-not-entirely-inaccurate metrics that many use to justify their own fear response, an artifact of suspension-of-disbelief.

    I'll never believe we should all be forced to wear a seatbelt nor do I believe everyone should wear a mask. Thing is, the prior puts nobody else at risk whereas the latter is assumed by proponents to do exactly that when their perception of aforementioned risk is entirely based on bad information, something that has been proven...time. and. again.

    What's sad is that by the time people like you understand and appreciate these nuances, it will be too late.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 9:17 PM
  • Hey, Mr. Eric!

    I followed your reference... will it be alright? I’ll be holding the mask tight. We’ve spent a four month lonely daze in a brown COVID haze. Yes, it's been quite a summer...

    Come Monday, we hope it'll be all right

    -- Posted by Hoosier Hiker on Sat, Jul 25, 2020, at 9:22 PM
  • @bjcp76 there are far more than just two of us who place our freedom above your right to mandate our behavior.

    -- Posted by techphcy on Sun, Jul 26, 2020, at 5:21 PM
  • Tech- That's neat. You're so brave.

    -- Posted by BJCP76 on Sun, Jul 26, 2020, at 10:02 PM
  • DPR/DQ:

    I love you taking the kiddos to school!! That's the common resort from people who can not understand eloquent writing. They are all "my body, my choice" liberals, until a republican gives them a dose of their own medicine. You two keep it up! It definitely makes me look forward reading the comments.

    Congrats to the Liberals on a great few weeks. You managed to defeat two cartoons, a pancake mix, a box of rice, an ice cream bar, and even a bottle of syrup. You're out there making the real and important changes this country desperately need. Imagine, if you will, a virus so dangerous you have to be tested to even know you had it.

    -- Posted by Hmmmmm on Mon, Jul 27, 2020, at 9:57 AM
  • Hmmmmm- This has nothing to do with politics at all. Why are you making it about right or left? It just shows how uneducated and misguided you really are. No surprise.

    -- Posted by BJCP76 on Mon, Jul 27, 2020, at 11:58 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: