Gov. Holcomb’s office responds to Biden’s appeal to reinstate mask mandates: ‘The state continues to move ahead’


Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a media availability from the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS — When asked for a response to President Joe Biden’s appeal to governors, state and local leaders to reinstate mask-wearing requirements if they have lifted them, Governor Eric Holcomb’s office replied: “The state continues to move ahead.”

During a speech last week, Gov. Holcomb announced he will also be ending the state-wide mask mandate on April 6.

Face coverings will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and in all vaccination and COVID testing sites until further notice. K-12 schools will continue under current requirements through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 

Governor Holcomb announced during the speech that he will renew the state’s health emergency through the end of April, and current restrictions through April 5. Starting April 6, all decisions about the capacity of events will be up to local officials.

Local governments, private businesses and other entities may institute more stringent guidelines. The Indiana Department of Health will continue to provide county level, color coded metrics to provide information about whether virus levels are increasing or decreasing locally.

President Biden laid out hopeful new steps Monday to expand coronavirus vaccinations but also echoed the stern warnings of a top public health official who told Americans she has a recurring feeling of “impending doom” that a fourth wave of the virus may be coming.

“This is deadly serious,” Biden said, urging governors to reinstate mask mandates and other restrictions that some states have been easing.

Biden addressed the nation from the White House, declaring, “If we let our guard down now, we can see the virus getting worse, not better. People are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing.”

Biden delivered a direct appeal to governors, state and local leaders to reinstate mask-wearing requirements if they have lifted them, and said he encouraged leaders to pause plans to further ease virus-related restrictions.

“Please, this is not politics, reinstate the mandate if you let it down,” he said.

The CDC stressed that people need to keep protecting themselves with masks and social distancing. Experts say they’re disturbed by what they’re seeing across the country, like the large crowds gathering in Miami during Spring Break.

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