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Monroe County, IU requiring masks in indoor public places

The mandate goes into effect Thursday, Aug. 5 at 8 a.m.

MONROE COUNTY, Ind — Monroe County is requiring everyone to wear masks indoors in public places again, regardless of vaccination status, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases from the highly contagious delta variant.

A spokesperson with the Monroe County Health Department confirmed with 13News the mandate goes into effect Thursday, Aug. 5 at 8 a.m.

All businesses and places that are open to the public must post visible and accurate signage at their front entrance indicating that face coverings are required.

“We are very concerned about our increased case numbers, which has raised Monroe County from blue to the yellow advisory level on the Indiana Department of Health [IDOH] County Metric Map," said Monroe County Health Officer Dr. Thomas Sharp. “New data from the CDC also shows that the delta variant is very contagious and is causing most of the new infections in the United States.”

Indiana University is also instructing all students, employees and visitors to wear a mask indoors in coordination with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health. 

The recommendation applies to all IU campuses, including IUPUI, all regional campuses, IUPUC, and IU Fort Wayne.

The exemptions to the mask mandate include the following:

  • Children who are age 2 or younger
  • Those who are hearing or speaking impaired where a face covering interferes with communication
  • Those unable to wear a face covering for a documented physical, medical or health-related reason
  • While in a health care setting if the provider believes a face covering will impede services
  • When alone in a public building, such as an office, in a work space and are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others, or are making a public presentation and are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others
  • When working in a job where a face covering provides a safety risk as determined by government workplace safety regulations
  • When incarcerated
  • When seated at an establishment that serves food and/or drink. However, face coverings must be worn when not seated at the table, including entering and exiting.
  • When doing indoor exercise that is incompatible with a face covering, including swimming
  • Emergency situations if you lack the time or means to access a face covering

Monroe County is roughly 50 miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis.

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