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Holcomb Sets End Date For COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Health, Politics
Gov. Eric Holcomb isn't reimposing a mask wearing mandate in state government buildings, despite new CDC recommendations. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb is ending the majority of remaining COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday and all state executive orders issued during the pandemic will be repealed at the end of June.

Holcomb announced one last extension of the public health emergency Friday. That extension ensures Indiana will continue to receive federal funds for programs that include welfare benefits and food stamps.

READ MORE: How Is Indiana Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines? Here’s What You Need To Know

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But the governor said, beginning June 1, mask wearing will no longer be required in state facilities, except prisons, state hospitals, the Indiana Veterans Home, the state Law Enforcement Academy and all COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites.

Students in Hoosier schools don’t have to wear masks outdoors anymore. And starting July 1, local school boards will have to decide whether children must wear masks while in school buildings – Indiana will lift that statewide mandate after June 30.

The governor’s latest order also waives any penalties or interest payments Hoosiers accrued on the state income taxes they owe for unemployment benefits received last year.

Holcomb said, if necessary after June, he will issue a new executive order that’s limited to the state’s vaccination program and financial assistance for health and welfare programs.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.