Officials in Indiana’s second-largest county and one of the largest Indianapolis suburbs have adopted face mask mandates for residents and businesses in an attempt to slow the coronavirus spread.
The mandates throughout northwestern Indiana’s Lake County took effect Monday, while the order for the city of Fishers just northeast of Indianapolis will take effect Friday.
Those areas join a growing lists of cities and counties across the state imposing such mask requirements. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has declined to issue a statewide mandate even while encouraging face masks as the state has seen recent growth in the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.
Lake County's health department issued the requirement for mouth and nose face covering inside a businesses or other public places where people cannot maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.
Mask requirements have been issued for the cities of Indianapolis, Evansville and West Lafayette, along with LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties in northern Indiana and Monroe County, which includes Bloomington and Indiana University’s main campus.
The state health department on Monday reported 658 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, with Indiana’s seven-day daily average of new cases at 742, which is the highest at any point of the pandemic. It also reported three more deaths from the disease, raising the state’s death toll to 2,825 since mid-March.