Mask mandate, other restrictions roll back in Indiana Tuesday

Mask mandate, other restrictions roll back in Indiana Tuesday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Hoosiers will see the mask mandate and other COVID restrictions for residents and businesses rolled back this week.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he’ll continue to wear his mask in public as a precaution, but starting Tuesday, other Hoosiers won’t have to.

With new variants of the virus circulating, many people traveling for spring break and returning from Easter celebrations, some folks are wondering if the timing is right.

“I guess we will see. It may be too early,” Indiana resident Joanne Ballard said. “I haven’t had my vaccine yet.”

Ballard is worried that with so many variants of COVID-19 popping up, ending the mask mandate could send counties back into the red zone.

”I think maybe wait a month,” Ballard said, “because of all the spring break and Easter celebrations and stuff and those are opportunities for people if they haven’t been wearing a mask to be more likely to catch [the virus].”

Eric Kaelberer’s children and grandchildren live in Southern Indiana, and he said while he knows the pandemic is real, he believes it’s likely coming to an end.

”You have to get on with life. You can’t be living in total fear,” Kaelberer said.

He said his children are especially excited about Indiana opening back up.

”We’re taking precautions, we’re being careful, we are not being stupid, but we have to live our lives,” he said.

Kaelberer said he’s most happy for his Indiana family because he lives in California and contends the restrictions in the coastal state aren’t working.

”We’re pretty well locked down, and it’s killed all the businesses and the kids’ schooling,” he said, “I mean, the kids are so far behind and their social skills and all of that. It’s frightening.”

There are also Hoosiers who are down the middle on the precaution fight, like Lisa Nale; she is optimistic and still masking up for now.

”You have to use some common sense and some caution,” she said.

Nale wants people to start getting back out but also wants a bigger percentage of the Hoosier state to get vaccinated first.

Though the statewide mask mandate is ending Tuesday, masks will still have to be worn in Indiana in government buildings, at schools, and COVID vaccination sites. Individual businesses and local officials are still allowed to enforce tougher restrictions.

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