Vaccination Numbers Increase, Indiana Lifts Mask Mandate

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Indiana’s mask mandate has been lifted, but face coverings will not be leaving everyday life anytime soon.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced March 23 that the statewide mask mandate would end on Tuesday, April 6. However, local governments, such as Marion and Johnson counties, can continue to enforce their own mask mandates. 

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced March 25 that Marion County’s mask mandate will continue beyond April 6.


“It’s too early to abolish it in the state's most populous city,” Hogsett said in a virtual press conference. Marion County has had a stressful month as thousands were in Indy for the March Madness NCAA Tournament. While the city is reaching goals like a lower positivity rate and lower cases, Indianapolis needs more time before restrictions are lifted.”

Holcomb also signed executive orders to end the crowd size and other restrictions meant to keep social distancing in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Private businesses will still be able to set their own rules and regulations regarding restrictions and mask mandates. 

Indiana opened the vaccination eligibility up to anyone above sixteen-years-old on March 31. This makes 5.4 million Indiana residents able to be vaccinated. 

According to the Indiana State Department of Health dashboard, over 1.1 million Indiana residents have been fully vaccinated as of Friday, April 2. 

Although Hoosiers are able to be vaccinated, COVID-19 numbers are rising. The state department of health’s COVID-19 tracking showed a weekly average of 938 new cases for the first week of May. This is up from an average of about 750 new cases in mid-March. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise individuals who are fully vaccinated to continue wearing facemasks in public, when around unvaccinated people from multiple households and when around those who may be at high-risk. This is due to the fact that health officials are still trying to fully understand the virus and the vaccinations impact on the spread of the virus. 

On Friday, Indiana University announced that it will begin offering vaccination appointments exclusively to its students and staff. 

Those at IU Bloomington and IUPUI will receive links through emails and text messages from the health department to schedule their appointments. 

“The vaccines can only end the pandemic if all who are able to get vaccinated do so as quickly as possible,” IU President Michael McRobbie said. “As part of our leadership during this crisis, IU will continue to fully employ its extensive health sciences resources to support our state's vaccination efforts, encourage all Hoosiers to get vaccinated, and address questions about vaccine safety and efficacy.”

IU Bloomington is expected to receive between 11,000 and 15,000 doses of the vaccine and IUPUI is expected to receive 5,000. 

The first round of vaccinations for students and staff will be held the weeks of April 5 and April 12, and the second doses are scheduled to be offered the weeks of April 26, May 3 and May 10. 

Those who are eligible for the vaccinations can schedule an appointment by visiting https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.


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