Face Coverings Required In Indiana; Indianapolis Imposes Additional Restrictions

Jackson Lewis P.C.
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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has issued a statewide mask order effective July 27, 2020, through August 26, 2020. Under this Order, anyone at least eight years old must wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, commercial entities, or transportation services, and in outdoor public spaces where social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

This decision was made in light of increased COVID-19 cases in Indiana and the aim of safely reopening schools in the fall.

Exceptions to the face covering requirement are numerous and include persons who:

  • Have a medical condition, mental health condition, or a disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • Are eating or drinking;
  • Are engaging in physical exercise or sports, as long as social distancing is maintained; and
  • Are attending or engaged in a religious service, as long as social distancing is maintained.

People who are unable to wear a face covering are strongly encouraged to wear a face shield.

In school settings, masks will be required for students in grades three and up, all faculty and staff, volunteers, and anyone else who enters the schools. Face coverings are not required during recess or in the classroom, as long as six feet of social distancing is maintained.

Additionally, all students (regardless of age), faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, volunteers, and visitors are required to wear a face covering while on a school bus or other school-sponsored transportation. Masks also are required during co-curricular and extracurricular activities, except when engaged in strenuous physical activity or when six feet of social distancing can be maintained.

Indianapolis Implements Further Restrictions

A steady increase in COVID-19 cases prompted Mayor Joe Hogsett to implement further restrictions on businesses in Marion County. These went into effect on July 24, 2020, and will remain in effect until rescinded or modified.

Under the Mayor’s Order, all bars and nightclubs must be closed. Bar seating at restaurants also must be closed at all times. Restaurants are restricted to 50% capacity with strict social distancing between tables. They also must be closed and cleared of all customers between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Restaurants are not permitted to have live entertainment at this time.

In addition, the following restrictions have been implemented:

  • Schools may not conduct in-person learning until August 5, with additional guidance forthcoming;
  • Gyms, fitness centers, yoga, and dance studios must restrict capacity to 25%;
  • Assisted living communities and nursing homes are closed to indoor visitation;
  • The Indianapolis Public Library is restricted to 50% capacity;
  • Shopping malls and retail stores are restricted to 75% capacity;
  • Personal services, such as salons and spas, are open by appointment only;
  • Indoor religious services are restricted to 50% capacity;
  • Funeral homes are restricted to 50% capacity;
  • Community swimming pools are restricted to 50% capacity;
  • Sports venues and raceways are restricted to 25% capacity;
  • Cultural, entertainment, and tourism sites, such as zoos, museums, and parks, are limited to 25% capacity; and
  • All other non-essential entertainment, such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, trampoline parks, boating, marina facilities, and rock wall climbing, is limited to 25% capacity.

The Mayor’s Order provides additional guidance on these restrictions, including exceptions and limitations.

Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction.

(Law clerk Cheyna Galloway contributed significantly to this article.)

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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