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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Don't call 911 to report mask violations

People violating the Marion County Public Health Order by not wearing masks or practicing social distancing should be referred to the health department.

INDIANAPOLIS —

The Marion County Sheriff's Office is asking residents to refrain from calling the 911 Dispatch Center to report violations of the public health order requiring face masks, which goes into effect on Thursday, July 9 at 8 a.m. 

Citizens calling 911 for non-emergency problems can cause delays for callers with true life-or-death emergencies. 

The Indianapolis 911 Center answered nearly 85,000 calls in June and expects to answer just as many — if not more — in July, according to data shared by the Sheriff's Office.

People violating the public health order by not wearing masks or practicing social distancing are not considered life or death emergencies and should be referred to the Marion County Public Health Department.

To report any public health order violations directly to the Marion County Public Health Department COVID-19 Call Center, call (317) 221-5500 or visit their website for additional information.

RELATED: Indiana coronavirus updates: Marion County mask mandate begins Thursday

RELATED: Marion County to require face masks in public spaces starting July 9

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The health department will hold businesses accountable for enforcing the mandatory mask order and could issue a fine of up to $1,000 for repeated violations of the stricter policy.

The public health order, announced last week, requires face masks be worn in indoor public places including office buildings, retail establishments and when entering restaurants, but not while seated at a table.

Masks will also be required in outdoor spaces when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible. Mayor Joe Hogsett said running or biking outdoors without a mask is OK, but masks will be needed in most cases.