Indiana’s governor has announced that all residents over 8 years of age are now required to wear a face mask intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, revealed the decision Wednesday and said it will go into effect on Monday. He added that the only exceptions to the rule will be for people with medical issues, those engaging in strenuous physical activity, and those who are eating and drinking, according to Wane 15 News.
Holcomb explained that there will not be “mask police” on the prowl for violators, but those who don’t comply will be cited for a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and 180 days in jail.
“When I asked you months ago to hunker down, you did. We did. We slowed the spread. It’s just factual. We protected our hospitals,” Holcomb said.
“While we have continued to fare better than many other states, now we have to hunker down in a different way. Which is why wearing masks will become the fashion of the day.”
The move comes on the same day that Indiana’s neighbor to the east, Ohio, announced it will also impose a statewide face mask requirement that goes into effect on Thursday.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday she is also signing an executive order requiring masks to be worn with few exceptions.
While many health officials, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, argue that masks are useful in stopping the spread of the virus, others point out studies showing the effect of cloth masks is negligible and, in some cases, counterproductive.
Instances of people refusing to wear masks have gone viral in recent weeks, and some have gotten violent, including a recent situation in Texas where a man was arrested for pointing a gun at a fellow Walgreens customer over a mask dispute.
Author: Andrew Mark Miller
Source: Washington Examiner: Indiana imposes statewide face mask mandate, punishable by up to 180 days in jail