Governor, county health commissioner respond to growing pressure to end mask mandate

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb is sticking to his plan, keeping the state’s mask mandate in place, despite growing pressure from some who think Indiana should follow the likes of Texas and Mississippi in eliminating the requirement.

Among the highest-profile voices, Rep. Jim Banks called for the end of the mandate through social media posts. Banks told WANE 15 he wanted to hear more conversations at the state and local levels about ways to end the requirement. He added that he ‘can’t wait’ for the mandate to end.

During the governor’s weekly press conference Wednesday, WANE 15 asked Holcomb if he has been in touch with Banks. He said that the two are friends, but they have not discussed masks.

“I think I share his sentiment, about wanting to get through this,” Holcomb said. “We just need to do it looking at Indiana numbers – Not Texas. Not Mississippi. Not Nebraska. Not Vermont. I’m on the phone with all these governors that are all very respected voices in the country but I’ll continue to focus on what’s going on in Indiana not around the country.”

Allen County’s Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter shared a statement about masks with WANE 15 Wednesday afternoon.

“Masks, including simple cloth face coverings, are an inexpensive yet effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Sutter’s statement read. “While we are seeing decreasing cases in Indiana and Allen County it is still possible to have a significant surge. As we continue efforts to vaccinate all Hoosiers, we recommend ongoing mask wearing to limit transmission of this deadly disease.”

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