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What you need to know about Marion County's mask mandate

Posted at 11:48 PM, Jul 08, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — A mask mandate goes into effect in just hours as Marion County joins communities across the country that are requiring people to wear face masks in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, almost everyone who goes out in public will be expected to wear a mask. Marion County is masking up.

The public health order instructs all businesses and public accommodations to ensure their customers and visitors are wearing a mask that covers their mouth and nose. The order includes bars and restaurants which are already operating at reduced capacity, many with outside seating to help people social distance.

READ MORE | View the Marion County public health order

Libraries in Marion County will be allowed to open to everyone. Masks will be required to enter. Same thing goes for grocery stores.

For the most part, many of these places already had mask policies in place. The public health order ensures everyone is doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"We want obviously the most protection for all of our humans as well as all the guests that come in," Bridget Horan, head chef at BrewDog Indianapolis, said.

When Horan heard about the mask mandate, it reaffirmed the policy BrewDog already had in place.

"We wanted to get ahead of it before the official statement on the 9th that everyone has to," Horan said.

Masks are required for all customers who come in the restaurant. They can take them off when they are at one of the tables that the staff cleans before and after each use.

"People have been very receptive to it," Horan said. "You get the occasional people who don't have a mask on them, but I think the fact that everyone in this area is implementing the same thing makes a difference."

With the well-being of everyone in mind, Horan knows this is going to be the new normal for quite some time.

"We got our dividers in between the tables, the markings on the floor, one in door and one out door so this is just another step to make sure people are safe as possible," Horan said.

There are some notable exceptions to the mask mandate. Children two years or younger won't be expected to wear a mask and if you have some sort of physical limitation that prevents you from wearing a mask you won't be expected to either.

Another exception to the mask order applies to people experiencing homelessness and those who are hearing or speaking impaired.

The order will be enforced by health inspectors who can give out citations if a business or person are not complying.