Mask wearing is no longer be required in Indiana beginning Tuesday, when a host of other changes are also set to go into effect.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced last month that the mandate would end April 6, though the state is still urging residents to wear face coverings when patronizing businesses.
Masks will also be required in state buildings and COVID vaccination facilities, as well as K-12 schools and COVID testing sites.
“I will continue to appropriately wear a mask. It’s the right thing to do,” Holcomb said last month. “Hoosiers who take these recommended precautions will help us get to what I hope is the tail end of this pandemic.”
Holcomb cited improvements in coronavirus diagnoses and hospitalizations in rolling back various mitigation strategies, saying that nearly one million state residents have now been vaccinated against the virus.
Vaccinations will be key to continuing to fight back against the virus, the governor said.
The removal of Indiana's mask mandate comes as the state has dropped the proof of residency requirement to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, leaving age as the only remaining eligibility barrier to be vaccinated.
As of Wednesday, residents age 16 and up are eligible to receive the vaccine statewide.
Beginning Tuesday, the authority to impose occupancy limits on businesses will fall under the purview of local health departments, with the state still providing data for local authorities to use in making those decisions, according to Holcomb.
Health officials in Indiana reported 762 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, with one additional death attributed to the virus over the previous 24 hours. The state also saw more than 7,800 new vaccinations in that timeframe.
The state’s positivity rate continued to climb, rising to 4.3% on all tests and 11.1% on individuals tested over the last seven days. Those numbers mark a continued increase from the lowest marks of the pandemic, which were achieved in early March.