STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Holcomb resists Indiana mask mandate as virus variant spikes

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has not imposed a mask mandate inside state buildings despite federal guidance that masks should be worn indoors and a surge in the number of Indiana counties approaching high risk for community spread of COVID-19.

Posted: Aug 4, 2021 5:21 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has not imposed a mask mandate inside state buildings despite federal guidance that masks should be worn indoors and a surge in the number of Indiana counties approaching high risk for community spread of COVID-19.

The Republican governor has also maintained he won’t reinstate a statewide mask mandate or other restrictions, instead leaving such decisions to local officials.

Masks are still not required in state government buildings or for state employees, a spokesperson for the governor told The Journal Gazette. Inside the Statehouse, there is no signage about face coverings except outside a House Democratic office that asks for masks to be worn before entering.

Holcomb also isn’t following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation himself. He attended an indoor event in Hancock County without a mask on Tuesday.

However, some members of Holcomb's administration continued to wear masks.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch was wearing a mask indoors at a Marion County event Tuesday. State health officials wore masks last week during an indoor news conference.

Holcomb ended the statewide mask requirement in May and has left decisions about mask requirements in schools up to local officials, despite a statewide mandate during the last academic year.

Holcomb said last month that he’s concerned about the variant’s spread at a time when just 50.9% of Indiana’s eligible population — those age 12 and up — is fully vaccinated and as the delta variant — which spreads more easily than other versions of the coronavirus — continues spreading throughout the state.

On Monday, 29 counties were in Indiana’s second-riskiest category for the spread of the virus, according to an update posted Wednesday on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, up from 15 counties a week earlier.

Indiana’s color-coded coronavirus risk map shows blue, yellow, orange and red levels that measure weekly COVID-19 cases per 100,000 county residents and the seven-day positivity rate. Southwestern Indiana's Posey County is in the highest-risk red category, which indicates very high community spread.

Tests conducted this month on a sample of Indiana’s cases showed that as of Wednesday, 87% of them were the delta variant, the dashboard showed.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 61°
Kokomo
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 61°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
Fowler
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Williamsport
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Crawfordsville
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Frankfort
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Delphi
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 60°
Monticello
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 60°
Logansport
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: °
More welcome rainfall ahead...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 934586

Reported Deaths: 15157
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1272871967
Lake629921090
Allen53252749
Hamilton43603446
St. Joseph41729586
Elkhart33340488
Vanderburgh30183442
Tippecanoe26738247
Johnson23466416
Hendricks22102340
Porter21573342
Clark17306227
Madison17213380
Vigo15991274
Monroe14404190
LaPorte14238237
Delaware13977219
Howard13772267
Kosciusko11310135
Hancock10749161
Warrick10616176
Bartholomew10461167
Floyd10375203
Wayne9848219
Grant9017200
Morgan8813159
Boone8351109
Dubois7647123
Henry7536129
Dearborn751787
Noble7369101
Marshall7314128
Cass7140117
Lawrence6913152
Shelby6526108
Jackson651884
Gibson6101106
Harrison601185
Huntington596192
Montgomery5756102
DeKalb568591
Knox5398104
Miami536684
Putnam532067
Clinton530965
Whitley520951
Steuben492867
Wabash480592
Jasper475561
Jefferson466291
Ripley451175
Adams441765
Daviess4105107
Scott400764
White388757
Clay387156
Greene385689
Decatur383496
Wells381683
Fayette371976
Posey358041
Jennings350356
Washington329747
LaGrange318775
Spencer315535
Fountain312354
Randolph309487
Sullivan304047
Owen282461
Starke276662
Orange274459
Fulton274253
Jay253034
Perry249352
Carroll242427
Franklin236737
Vermillion231450
Rush231330
Parke217720
Tipton208355
Pike204538
Blackford167434
Pulaski161751
Crawford144818
Newton142044
Benton141616
Brown133346
Martin127716
Switzerland124810
Warren114116
Union95511
Ohio78111
Unassigned0473

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events