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City-County Council approves extending health order in Marion County

Posted at 10:20 AM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 10:20:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County residents will need to keep wearing their masks indoors for a little while longer.

The City-County Council is taking action in response to a new law that took effect after the legislature voted to override a veto from Gov. Eric Holcomb on Senate Bill 5. It means that all local health orders that are more strict than the state orders are now null and void.

The new law took effect immediately, forcing the Council's vote Monday to extend the Marion County Public Health Department's mask mandate and capacity limits.

Senate Bill 5 means that local pandemic rules must be approved by a City Council or a County Commission if they are more stringent than the regulations approved by the Indiana State Health Department.

Dr. Virginia Caine, the director of the MCPHD told the Council on Monday that it's basic science as to why a county-wide mask mandate is still needed until more people get vaccinated.

You can hear what Dr. Caine had to say during the Council meeting in the video above.

Dr. Caine says she is hopeful that the county will reach a level of local herd immunity by later this summer, and that's when some of the restrictions could be lifted.

The new state law overriding local pandemic limits also impacts South Bend, Elkhart and Bloomington, where mask mandates have also remained in place.