INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s mask mandate becomes a mask advisory statewide on Tuesday. This means counties and businesses can decide whether to lift restrictions or keep them in place.
Marion and Monroe Counties are keeping the mask mandate. Sun King Brewing Company, with six locations across central Indiana including Hamilton County, is keeping their mask requirements.
“We’ve managed to work our way through this pandemic to this point with no COVID outbreaks,” said co-founder and co-CEO Clay Robinson.
Robinson says once people find their seats with family or friends, they are able to remove their masks. But they must wear them when they are moving about for now.
“There are people that don’t like it, but at the end of the day it’s what we feel is gonna be best for everybody and so that’s what we’re trying to do,” Robinson said.
Robinson admits removing the mask mandate does put pressure on businesses.
“I think the lifting of the mandate at this point in time certainly makes it harder on businesses because when everyone has to do it unilaterally across the board, it’s a very easy line to say, ‘hey, this is a state mandate,'” Robinson said. “Obviously we’ve gone from a mandate to an advisory. The advisory still, I think, says, ‘hey it’s advisable to wear masks.'”
Doctors are concerned lifting the mandate could tempt people to stop wearing masks. Even with vaccinations, positivity is increasing.
“It’s a public health measure, and I understand the reason not to legislate, but at the beginning, it was always, ‘how do we do the right thing to protect ourselves and each other,'” Dr. Robin Ledyard, chief medical officer at Community Health Network, said.
As life begins to resemble pre-pandemic times, doctors hope you will continue wearing your face coverings until they are sure cases are on a downward trend.
“If you are in a restaurant, seated at your table and you know everyone there, it’s fine to take off your mask,” Ledyard said. “But I do hope that most of our establishments, those that can’t control when people come into contact with each other, may not be able to control airflow, it’s not outside, that they ask that people wear masks when they’re up and about in the establishment or as they’re getting seated.”