Indianapolis ends COVID-19 mask mandate for fully vaccinated

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis ended its mask mandate for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday, hours after the City-County Council approved a measure easing numerous pandemic restrictions.

The Democratic-majority council passed the new public health order Monday evening on a 19-5 party line vote, with Republicans opposed because the measure didn’t fully lift all pandemic restrictions.

Despite lifting its mask order, Indianapolis businesses may choose to require masks on their property and masks are still required in hospitals and on public transportation in Indiana’s capital.

The change means residents who received their final vaccine shot at least two weeks ago are not required to wear masks in public areas.

Indianapolis is aiming for a 50% vaccination rate in order to fully reopen, Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, told the council. Last week, the county’s vaccination rate stood at about 36%.

“Those of our residents who have chosen to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can now safely remove their masks in most public settings. This is truly a milestone for the Indianapolis community," Caine said.

Indianapolis' new order eases numerous pandemic restrictions, including allowing religious services and funerals, as well as community pools, to open to 100% capacity. Social gatherings increased from 50 to 500 people, and bars, restaurants and nightclubs can operate at 75% capacity indoors.

Gov. Eric Holcomb ended Indiana's while keeping mask requirements in place for schools and state buildings.

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