Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed an order lifting the statewide mask mandate and other COVID-19 business restrictions as of Tuesday.
Holcomb announced two weeks ago plans to lift statewide COVID-19 restrictions including capacity limits and the mask mandate that had been in place since July 2020. Holcomb said the restrictions were lifted because current cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations and deaths have all dropped drastically, and three vaccines are in use.
Any restrictions will now be up to local governments and individual businesses to impose.
“It’s the discretion of the management to decide what they want and we will like I said continue to encourage our restaurants and all of our big box stores in our grocery stores and anyone who owns a business to ask the patrons to wear a mask,” Johnson County Health Department Director Betsy Swearingen told Indianapolis TV station WRTV.
Kwang Casey who owns Oaken Barrel Brewing in Greenwood, Indiana felt the decision to lift the mask mandate may have come too soon.
“Not all of our employees are vaccinated. Now if I had 100% of my employees vaccinated then I would feel more comfortable. They are in close contact with people and taking orders and talking to customers. I just want to make sure that they’re safe and I want our customers to be safe as well.”
Health officials say the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 13,000 people in the state of Indiana.