Indiana business leaders urge workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations, take other safety precautions


INDIANAPOLIS – More businesses across Indiana are requiring masks regardless of vaccination status, and some are now requiring employees to get vaccinated.

At Homespun: Modern Handmade, a downtown Indy boutique, the sign by the front door tells fully vaccinated customers they don’t need to wear a mask. Starting next week, that will change.

“It’s a lot of up and down and a lot of trying to decide what’s best for the biggest amount of people, while not alienating customers but keeping employees safe,” said owner Amanda Mauer Taflinger.

Mauer Taflinger said even though her employees have all been vaccinated by choice, she’ll require them and all customers to wear a mask.

“Cases are going back up again, and we just don’t have a lot of other choice right now,” she said.

According to Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, more businesses are reinstating mask mandates, and a few have vaccine mandates for employees right now. Most of those are in the health care field, Brinegar said.

That could change as more businesses are considering requiring vaccines amid the COVID-19 surge, Brinegar said.

“If this persists with higher numbers of virus contraction, hospitalizations, deaths, etc., then it’s likely that that will be considered by more and more employers,” he said.

In the meantime, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is urging business owners to encourage their employees to get vaccinated, Brinegar said.

“We’ve helped facilitate many employers starting as vaccination sites or organizing groups of employees to go to a vaccination site,” Brinegar said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb told us Tuesday he’s not against private employers mandating the vaccine for their workers.

“Private businesses have to figure out a way to most safely conduct their business,” Holcomb said.

Several Indiana companies have delayed bringing their employees back into the office due to the delta variant, Brinegar said.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce also encourages businesses to follow the latest CDC guidelines on masking, he added. 

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