Governor Eric Holcomb announced recently that the state mask mandate and other restrictions will end Tuesday, leaving the option open for local officials to implement greater restrictions if they are warranted. Holcomb has still asked Indiana residents continue to exercise caution and follow CDC guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Montgomery County Commissioners and Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton were recently briefed on the latest COVID-19 data, capacity of the healthcare system and projections by Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Scott Douglas. After carefully reviewing local data, current healthcare capacity and an in-depth discussion, the county commissioners and Barton have, at this time, collectively chosen not to enact greater restrictions in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County than those set by Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health.
Thus, beginning Tuesday, Montgomery County and the City of Crawfordsville, there will not be a local requirement for masks or restrictions limiting the size of events.
Face coverings will still be required by governor’s order in certain situations such as in schools, vaccine administration sites and testing sites, such as the Montgomery County Health Department offices.
City and county officials encourage residents to follow the governor’s recommendations regarding masks, social distancing and washing hands. For gatherings, it is recommended that CDC guidance is followed, including the following:
• Wear a mask over the mouth and nose when in gatherings outside your normal household
• Social distance as much as possible
• Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
• Gather outdoors whenever possible
• Wash hands and do not attend if you are not feeling well
• Whenever possible, keep a list of attendees who can be notified in the event of a positive case
Local officials will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic and receive regular updates from Douglas. If indicated by local data, or strain on the healthcare system, greater restrictions will be considered.
Vaccine eligibility is now open to anyone over age 16 and Barton strongly encourages residents to consider getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
“It is effective in helping reduce the spread of the coronavirus and keeping our residents healthy,” he said.
Some businesses may still require masks either by their choice or because of a corporate policy.
“We ask that our residents respect the decision of these businesses,” Commissioner Jim Fulwider said. “We also ask that residents respect the decision of other businesses to not require a mask.”
Commissioner Dan Guard thanked residents for supporting local businesses and restaurants over this past year and also thanked businesses for adapting and providing services to residents.
“We encourage our residents to continue to do so,” Guard said.
Commission President John Frey also offered thanks to everyone who worked together this past year regarding the pandemic, including the health department, Mayor Barton and the City of Crawfordsville, Dr. Douglas and Dr. Roberts, the Emergency Management Agency and the numerous volunteers at the testing sites and vaccination site.
“It is a great testament to what our community can accomplish when we work together,” Frey said.