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These are the places in Indiana where masks are required

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Posted at 12:59 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 14:57:44-04

Editor's note: On July 22, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statewide mask order that will take effect July 27. Several counties and cities in Indiana issued mask orders prior to Holcomb's announcement. The original story is below.

INDIANAPOLIS — Several counties and cities throughout Indiana have mandated that citizens wear face coverings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Marion, Elkhart, LaGrange, Marshall, Monroe and St. Joseph counties, along with Evansville, Fishers, Merrillville and West Lafayette currently require masks to be worn in public.

As of Tuesday, 2,652 people are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 throughout the state, while 57,916 have tested positive, according to statistics from the Indiana State Department of Health.

The state has reported at least 700 new coronavirus cases in six of the past seven days.

The health department's dashboard shows 803 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The number is about half of what the state reported at the height of the pandemic in April and early May, but hospitalizations fell as low as 595 on June 26.

Indiana is currently in Stage 4.5 of its five-step reopening plan.

Here is a look at the specifics of each mask order:

MARION COUNTY

When the order went into effect: July 9.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 709 deaths, 12,991 positive cases.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: A fine of up to $1,000.

Details: Marion County's order applies to anyone over the age of two who is in an indoor space other than the home or in a situation where social distancing is not possible. There are some exceptions, which include people experiencing homelessness, those who have a medical reason for not wearing a mask, people who are hearing impaired, anyone seated at a restaurant or bar and people who are incarcerated.

What Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said: "This pandemic has not gone away. And across the country, we are seeing examples of what can happen when a city lets its guard down."

ELKHART COUNTY

When the order went into effect: June 30.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 68 deaths and 4,080 positive cases.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: None, but businesses are permitted to refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering. The order says people should keep their distance from anyone not wearing a mask and "assume they have a valid reason for not wearing one."

Details: Elkhart County's mandate says people over the age of two who do not have a physical disability that prevents them from wearing a mask must wear a face covering in an indoor area that is open to the public, including public transportation; outdoors where social distancing is not possible; and in private indoor and outdoor areas where people can't keep six feet of distance from each other.

What county health officials say in the order: "The most loving thing you can do for your community is to take care of yourself by wearing a face covering when out in public. We are all in this together."

RELATED | Elkhart County mandates the use of face masks in public

LaGRANGE COUNTY

When the order went into effect: June 15

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 10 deaths and 500 positive cases

Details: The county health department ordered people to wear masks due to a spike in cases in the weeks following Memorial Day weekend, according to the Associated Press. Masks be worn in public indoor places, including on public transportation or van transports, in outdoor public places where keeping six feet of between people is not possible and in private indoor or outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: LaGrange County Health Department administrator Dr. Alfredo Garcia said there currently is no penalty in place.

What county health officials said in the order: "Please do your part in stopping this disease."

LAKE COUNTY

When the order went into effect: July 21.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 256 deaths, 6,277 positive cases.

Details: Face coverings are required for anyone entering an indoor public space or place of business, unless a person has a medical exception. A mask should be work when it is not possible to keep six feet of social distancing. Children from kindergarten through 12th grade should wear a mask on the school bus and in the school building. Gary, which has its own health department, also instituted a mask order.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: Specific penalties are not specified, but businesses should make sure customers comply with the order and they can ask people not wearing masks to leave.

What Lake County Health Officer Dr. Chandana Vavilala said about the order: "Following the review of available literature, and given that there's no vaccine or medication available to prevent COVID-19, measures such as hand hygiene, physical distancing and wearing face coverings are the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from infected persons to uninfected persons," she told the Northwest Times of Indiana.

MARSHALL COUNTY

When the order went into effect: July 20.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 14 deaths, 671 positive cases.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: Not specified.

Details: Marshall County's order says people must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are at an indoor area that is open to the public, a public area where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained or any private indoor or outdoor area where six feet of social distancing isn't possible. Exceptions include children who are two years old or younger, people who have a physical disability or medical condition, those who are deaf, restaurant or bar customers while they are dining and anyone who is not in an area open to the public where six feet of social distancing can be maintained from people who are not from the same household. All businesses must require employees and visitors to wear face coverings.

What health officials said in the order: "We are experiencing record numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 and an alarming increase in related deaths. In order to protect public health, restrictions must be established to help curb the spread of COVID-19."

MONROE COUNTY

When the order went into effect: July 17

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 28 deaths and 490 positive cases

Details: People must wear a face covering in an indoor place that is not their home or the home of an immediate family member. Masks are also not required outdoors where it's possible to keep at least six feet of distance from others. Exceptions include children who are two years old or younger, people who are hearing or speaking impaired, those with a documented medical reason and people eating or drinking at a restaurant or bar. Businesses are required to make sure customers comply with the order.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: Businesses and public accommodations that do not enforce the order can face penalties up to and including closure.

What county health officials said in the order: The mask order was put into place, "In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the recent increase of new cases nationwide with a trend towards cases in a younger population, Monroe County' s increasing and dynamic population, and to ensure that physical distancing and preventative measures vital to the mitigation of the pandemic remain in place."

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY

When the order went into effect: Originally May 4, extended on June 29 through Sept. 7.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21: 74 deaths, 2,553 positive cases.

Details: The order requires facing coverings for people inside businesses and enclosed public spaces where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions are in place for people who have respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease, severe anxiety, autism, cerebral palsy and for children who are two years of age or younger. Businesses are also required to have alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol available at entrances and high-touch areas.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: County officials are considering fines against businesses that violate the order, according to the South Bend Tribune.

What St. Joseph County health officer Dr. Robert M. Einterz said in the order: "Given that there is no vaccine or medication available to prevent or treat COVID-19, measures such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing face coverings are the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from infected persons to uninfected persons."

EVANSVILLE

When the order went into effect: July 15.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21 in Vanderburgh County: Six deaths, 1,191 positive cases.

Details: People at least six years old are required to wear a face mask in all indoor areas that are open to the public, including public transportation, schools and in outdoor spaces where people can't keep at least six feet of separation. Exceptions are in place for people with health conditions, those who are hearing impaired, people who are eating or drinking at a restaurant or bar, anyone who is smoking or vaping while social distancing, and inside facilities owned or operated by the federal and state government.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: A business can deny service to customers not wearing masks.

What Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said in the order: "I have determined that emergency conditions continue to exist in the City relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and that the recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in our City require the City to take prohibitive action to combat COVID-19 in order to avoid further shutdowns."

FISHERS

When the order goes into effect: July 24.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21 in Hamilton County: 102 deaths, 1,991 positive cases.

Details: The mandate is schedule to last through Sept. 4. Anybody over the age of five is required to wear a face covering in an indoor place that is not a private residence or when in outdoor situations where keeping six feet of social distancing is not possible. Exceptions include people who are hearing impaired, those who have a physical or medical condition that prevent them from wearing a mask, people who are seated at a restaurant or bar while eating or drinking, those whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering and people who are exercising outdoors. Businesses can deny service to people who are not wearing masks.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: Fishers will not issue fines for violating the order, but public indoor locations that refuse to enforce the mask mandate may "experience enforcement actions by the Fishers Health Department." People concerned about businesses or people who are not complying can report violations to the Fishers Health Department's coronavirus hotline at 317-595-3211, online at fishers.in.us/coronavirus or via the Fishers Connect smartphone app. People will not be required to prove or document that they cannot wear a face covering.

What health officials said about the order: "Based on the data the Fishers Health Department has access to (and available publicly online at fishers.in.us/coronavirus), the community has seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases over the course of the last 4 weeks. As a result of this increase, the Fishers Health Department believes that by issuing a mandate for residents and visitors to wear a face-covering outside of a private residence, Fishers will begin to see a decrease in the spread of COVID-19. Decreasing the incidents and spread of COVID-19 in the community is essential for keeping business and schools open."

RELATED | Fishers to implement a mask mandate beginning Friday

WEST LAFAYETTE

When the order went into effect: July 13.

Deaths and positive cases as of July 21 in Tippecanoe County: 10 deaths, 889 positive cases.

Details: People must wear a mask or face covering in a place of business, at a building operated by the city, on public transportation, in taxis and ride-sharing vehicles, at workplaces in high-density settings, such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture, and in any outdoor space where social distancing is not possible.

Penalty for not wearing a mask: $100 fine for a first offense, $250 fine for each subsequent offense.

What West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said: "The ordinance is just sort of a reminder that, yes, this is a big deal," he told the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

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