Indiana mandates masks at school for most students and teachers
July 24, 2020
Indiana will require all students in third grade and above, teachers, and school staff to wear masks when they return to school buildings this fall, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.
The mandate is a significant move from Holcomb, who has steadfastly deferred decisions about reopening to school leaders — one that signals the slowing momentum of a state once barreling forward with ambitious plans to reopen all schools in person. But it’s unlikely to ease all the fears educators have raised as school start dates loom.
The requirement, which previous political rhetoric made seem improbable, is part of a larger statewide mandate brought on by a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Last week, more than 7% of people in Indiana were testing positive for the coronavirus, according to state data, up from a low of 4% last month. Starting Monday, the state will require people ages 8 and older to wear masks while in public indoor spaces.