May 19, 2021

Marion County Will Wait To Lift Mask Mandate For Vaccinated Residents

Marion County Public Health Department

Marion County Public Health Department

Marion County officials have decided to keep COVID-19 restrictions in place until June 7.
Changes to CDC mask recommendations prompted local health officials to reconsider existing orders.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said Marion County will continue to require mask and capacity restrictions for the time being. 

“That’s another two and a half weeks worth of shots in arms,” Hogsett said.

That will put the county past the Indianapolis 500 race, expected to be the largest sporting event since the pandemic. The date also coincides with the next meeting of the Indianapolis City-County Council, which is now required under a new state law to approve health orders.

Starting June 7, residents who are fully vaccinated will not need to wear masks, except at hospitals, public transportation and private businesses that require one. Capacity rules will also increase, moving to 100 percent for religious services and up to 500 people for social gatherings.

Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine said a goal for complete reopening includes having 50 percent of residents fully vaccinated and less than 100 COVID-19 cases per day.

“It’s my hope, and I have confidence in our city,” Caine said, “that we will reach this milestone by this Fourth of July.”

Currently about 30 percent of residents are vaccinated.

The city has increased outreach, offered free rides and pop up clinics to improve vaccination rates. The health department is looking for volunteers who speak different languages to reach more residents.

Health officials say local cases and positivity rates continue to drop. The current seven-day average of new cases is 111, down from 179 on May 6.

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