The details of Indiana’s statewide mask mandate are now available in Executive Order 20-37. On Wednesday, the Governor announced he would be issuing the order requiring masks to be worn and that failure to follow the order would be a Class B misdemeanor offense. The final Order does not mention a penalty. Existing statute does make it a misdemeanor to violate an Executive Order. The directive is effective at 12:01 a.m. this Monday, July 27th for 30 days until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, August 26th (unless extended or modified). It requires a face covering (defined near the end of Page 2) over the nose and mouth when:
- Inside a business, public building, or other indoor place open to the public. This does not extend, however, to private offices, private workspaces or meetings in which 6 feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained between people not in the same household;
- In an outdoor public space wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; or
- Using public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
There are exemptions that start at the bottom of Page 2.
Enforcement will be the responsibility of state and local health departments. The EO has also forced some changes that should be seen in the coming days to the guidelines at the Back On Track site.
Following the briefing, five State Senators (Jim Buck, Blake Doriot, Aaron Freeman, Mark Messmer & Jim Tomes) asked the Attorney General if this was within the Governor’s powers. Late on Wednesday, Attorney General Hill released an Advisory Opinion (does not carry a force of law) stating that the power to issue a mandate carrying a penalty rests with the Legislature and encouraging the Governor to call a Special Legislative Session to address such issues. Other attorneys, including Evansville’s Joshua Claybourn, have noted that the Legislature ceded this power to the Governor in the “Emergency Management and Disaster Law.”
Since Wednesday’s update, the state has reported 1,925 new positive cases (60,598 total) and 21 new deaths (2,6875), and 92,160 new tests administered (678,749 total with an overall 8.9% positive rate since the beginning of testing) according to the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov as of midnight last night. There are an additional 197 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
Several of the 200+ testing sites open across the state are nearby – each operator has their own requirements about whether an individual must be symptomatic or have underlying conditions and the locations move based on needs and building requirements. The state operated sites are free and open to anyone who wants it regardless of symptoms or risk; register in advance for those by calling 888-634-1123 or at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. If there are no spots available via advance registration, walk ins are available.
Resources & Reminders:
- All of the Governor’s Executive Orders can be found here. In addition to the language in the EO’s, there is helpful industry-specific information in the Industry Guidelines on the “Back On Track Indiana” webpage.
- YourNextStepIN.org is a one-stop shop for those seeking unemployment insurance, childcare, healthcare, food assistance, career coaching, etc.
- The Unemployment Insurance website has up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ; dates for webinars posted here and a listing of thousands of available jobs at www.indianacareerconnect.com with frequently planned virtual job fairs.
- Increased funds are available for individuals seeking training through the Workforce Ready Grant program and for employers using the Employer Training Grant program.
- Small businesses and non-profits can order PPE from the state’s PPE Directory. Anyone able to make or donate PPE can contact: PPEDirectory@iedc.in.gov.
- Blood supplies continue to run dangerously low in many Indiana communities. Anyone interested in donating or scheduling a donation drive can learn more at: donation/collection in communities.
- Those needing mortgage or rent assistance should call 1-877-GET-HOPE or go to: www.877GetHope.org. Applications for the Covid-19 Rental Assistance Program open July 13th at www.indianahousingnow.org. The program will provide up to $500 per month for up to 4 months to renters.
- Check the Wi-Fi Hotspot Map if you need internet access for work or school.
- If you haven’t done so already, complete your 2020 Census at www.my2020census.gov.
- If you or someone you know is contemplating Suicide: call 800-273-TALK, text HOME to 741741, or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Anyone experiencing Domestic Violence can get immediate help at 800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 866-331-9474, or visit www.thehotline.org/help
- To find a resource for Addiction Recovery, go to: www.in.gov/recovery/
- The IN Department of Education guidance for K-12 schools is available to the public.