Mask order extended; Other virus limits to lift Saturday

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s statewide mask order will continue for another three weeks under a new order the governor announced Wednesday even as he has faced public discontent over coronavirus restrictions amid his reelection campaign.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said he would be dropping most other limits on businesses and crowd sizes as of Saturday. The mask order will be extended until Oct. 17.

Holcomb said those restrictions could be removed because the state has seen progress in recent weeks in slowing the coronavirus spread. His action lifts statewide capacity limits for restaurants and bars and crowd limits for social events.

The mask order was first issued two months ago and has drawn ire among conservatives who believe his executive orders in response to the pandemic have gone too far. That has complicating his reelection campaign against Democratic challenger Woody Myers, with some saying they will support Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater.

Myers, a physician and former state health commissioner, said before Holcomb’s announcement that dropping the mask mandate would be irresponsible and lead to chaos with differing rules among the state’s 92 counties.

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