Indiana governor extends mask mandate for 30 days; State health commissioner tests positive for coronavirus


INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Indiana will stay in Stage 5 of its reopening plan for at least another month, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.

Holcomb said in his weekly coronavirus response briefing that Stage 5 would be extended through at least Nov. 14. The state’s mask mandate will continue through that date as well.

Three weeks ago, the governor moved the state into Stage 5 with the mask mandate expected to end Oct. 17. However, Gov. Holcomb decided to continue both the mask mandate and Stage 5 after an increase in the positivity rate.

“In less than a month, our positivity rate has moved to under 4% to where it sits today 5.3%,” Holcomb said.

The level of COVID-19 spread has not been seen in Indiana seen since the spring.

He noted record daily case numbers and hospitalizations are also concerning.

“Too many are ignoring science and rolling the dice,” Holcomb said.

He said Stage 5 is not an excuse for indifference. He said while most Hoosiers are following the guidelines, that’s not the case for everyone.

“We all see Hoosiers with a disregard for the health of fellow citizens,” he said.

“It turns out it’s children at our schools who are showing us how it’s done, and the administrators, how this can be done safely,” Holcomb explains.

The actions of every determines whether our kids can stay in school or not, Holcomb warns. It also affects the rate of those who are going homeless or hungry. The decisions of individuals can directly or indirectly cost lives.

“The numbers have everything to do with how many of us are and aren’t letting our guard down,” Holcomb said.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box joined the briefing remotely to share that she, her daughter and grandson tested positive for the coronavirus. She said she’s not experiencing symptoms, while her daughter and grandson are experiencing mild symptoms. Box worked with contact tracers to notify anyone she was in contact with of the diagnosis.

Governor Holcomb and other state officials will get tested Wednesday afternoon.

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