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Clark County will follow state guidelines, drop mask mandate on April 6

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 8:42 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, In. (WAVE) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Tuesday evening on the anniversary of the state’s first stay-at-home order that he is ending the statewide mask mandate.

Starting April 6, the mask mandate will become a mask advisory, with local governments being given the power to decide if and where it will be mandatory to wear a face covering.

Clark County Health Director Eric Yazel told WAVE 3 News the county will follow the state’s guidance and drop the mandate for now.

“Our plan is to stay in line with the state recommendations for right now for sure,” Yazel said.

Yazel said he will be monitoring the situation closely, watching for a potential spike in COVID-19 cases. If that happens, he said he may implement tighter restrictions for Clark County.

”You know, it’s just something we’ve got to continue to monitor and the response will tell us a lot about where we’re at as a community,” Yazel said. “If we see a big spike, that tells us we’re a ways away from the holy grail of herd immunity. Or if we don’t see much of a spike, then that tells us right there that we’re in pretty good shape and we just need to continue all the hard work.”

Yazel said business owners who are unsure if and how to implement their own mask policies should call the health department and talk to him about it.

For Kelly Conn, the owner of Pearl Street Taphouse, what he does on April 6 will come down to how his customers and staff feel.

“Wearing masks and doing everything, I’ve been able to keep our staff well this whole time,” Conn said. “I think we’re going to have a little bit of a staff meeting to see how they feel about it. If they want to continue to wear masks or not and we’re also going to have to kind of see what the customers are saying.”

Both Conn and Yazel said they will prepare for the worst and hope for the best, knowing they can change their policies at the first sign of danger.

“It’s always better safe than sorry in almost anything in life,” Conn said. “If that means we wear our masks a little while longer, so be it.”

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