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Businesses, cities adjusting to Indiana's new mask mandate

Posted at 9:41 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 21:41:34-04

CARMEL — Starting this week, masks are required everywhere while inside at public places. Businesses like Ella Bardo & the Imperial Spa in Carmel now adjusting to the new standards.

"It's just getting our clients a little bit more adjusted to it," Danielle Westerfield said.

Ella Bardo & the Imperial Spa in the Carmel City Center just had their grand opening on March 6.

"And then we shut down March 16, so it was like yay and then it was like oh," Ella Bardo said.

Offering massages, facials and other treatments, their industry has been majorly impacted by the pandemic.

"Literally impossible," Bardo said. "Like there's no way I can have my hands and do your face from six feet away it's not going to happen."

"And they can't massage someone if they're not — it's contact, it's body contact," Westerfield said.

For that reason, they've had to implement many safety precautions, including face masks.

"We immediately have them wash their hands, we take their temperature and then we also have masks available for free right now," Bardo said. "I know it's hard with everybody adjusting. I will sometimes forget my mask in the car so we have free ones and we have some cute ones if you want to buy those."

"Sometimes it's an inconvenience but it's not that much of an inconvenience to keep our businesses open," Bruce Kimball, Carmel City Council member, said.

Kimball said the city has a campaign "Wearing is Caring" with signs up and down the Monon Trail. Plus, the Carmel police and fire departments have been working at different community events trying to educate people and hand out free masks.

According to the statewide mandate issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb, anyone older than 8 years old is required to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, on public transit and outside when it's not possible to socially distance.

Exemptions apply when you are eating, drinking or participating in strenuous activity.

"We passed a resolution very early on asking people to wear a mask but again we had been locked up and things were starting to drop," Kimball said. "But now we are seeing things starting to move back up. So I think people are realizing the virus hasn't gone away and if we really want to get back to semi-normal before the vaccine comes out, that we really do need to take the masks seriously."

Face masks will be mandatory until at least Aug. 26. Officials said that date may change depending on the state's COVID-19 numbers.

State and local health departments are charged with enforcing compliance through education, according to the governor's executive order. Violators will not face jail time or a fine.