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Marion County, Indiana Issues Mandatory Public Mask Order Effective July 9, 2020 Marion County, Indiana Issues Mandatory Public Mask Order Effective July 9, 2020

Marion County, Indiana Issues Mandatory Public Mask Order Effective July 9, 2020

On July 2, 2020, noting the surge of COVID-19 cases across the U.S., Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced a new Public Health Order—effective 8:00 a.m. July 9, 2020—that requires all individuals in Marion County, Indiana to wear a mask or face covering over their nose and mouth when in an indoor place other than their own home or when outdoors in a situation where adequate social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible. The order notes that businesses and public accommodations that are open to the public must ensure customers and/or visitors obey the order or face potential enforcement action. The order does not explicitly state whether employers whose workplaces are not open to the public must ensure their employees comply with the order at work, and the Marion County Public Health Department has not yet offered clarification on this point. 

The order does contain a number of exceptions, including, but not limited to, individuals who are alone in a room in a public building, such as an office; children age two or younger; “individuals who are hearing or speaking impaired and for whom a mask or face covering is an obstacle to communication;” and “individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for a physical, medical, or health-related reason.” A copy of the order with the full list of exceptions is available here.

Notably, this order applies only to Marion County, Indiana. Similar orders are in place in Elkhart, LaGrange, and St. Joseph counties in Indiana. While Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has recently emphasized the importance of masks and face coverings as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, he has not yet made the use of masks mandatory state-wide.   

We will provide further updates as the Mayor’s Office Public Health Department provides clarification on the application of the order. Additionally, please watch this space for a forthcoming article addressing labor and employment considerations related to workplace masking policies.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. It speaks only to guidance available as of May 13, 2020. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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