MOUNT CARMEL — The next time you cross the Wabash River to shop in Indiana, you’ll be required to wear a mask.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced the statewide order on Wednesday, an order that’ll go into effect on Monday, July 27.
For those who make the 20-minute drive to shop at Walmart, or eat and shop in Evansville, this mandate likely isn’t something new.
Walmart had announced last week that shoppers would be required to wear masks at stores nationwide, but do offer masks at the door to shoppers who fail to possess one.
Indiana’s move came less than an hour after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine enacted similar legislation, and less than a week after Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s order.
The order does not apply to those less than eight years old. It calls for wearing the protective mask when in indoor public places or in outside public places when necessitated social distancing isn’t possible. Holcomb additionally declared defiance against the order a class B misdemeanor.
Just like in Kentucky however, this move will likely be met with opposition.
There remains a strong base of people opposed to masks, and those who debate the legality of such an order. In Kentucky, Beshear’s order had been briefly overturned after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron requested a Boone County judge to strike down the order. The Kentucky State Supreme Court upheld Beshear’s order for the time being shortly after, however.
Holcomb could likely see similar action from his Republican colleagues within the Hoosier state.
As stores and states begin to mandate masks, the reality is they’ll likely be a fixture in our everyday lives until a vaccine is made available for the public. Until that time comes, this type of legislation will likely remain in place.