INDIANAPOLIS (AP) —
Northern Indiana's LaPorte County on Friday became the latest local
government in the state with a mandate for people to wear face masks while
in public as the state has seen a recent growth in the number of coronavirus
At least three
other nearby counties, along with the cities of Indianapolis, Evansville and
West Lafayette also have imposed mask requirements. Republican Gov. Eric
Holcomb has encouraged the wearing of face coverings but has declined to
issue a statewide mandate.
The LaPorte County
order was approved by a 2-1 vote by county commissioners Wednesday. It
requires masks for adults and children 3 years old and older in any indoor
public area and outdoors when they can't stay at least 6 feet (1.8 meters)
away from people outside their household.
Vidya Kora, a physician, said he believed face coverings were a small
sacrifice to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
"I really think
wearing a mask is an act of kindness, compassion, respect, humility and love
for your fellow human beings," Kora said.
requirements have been issued in nearby St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange
Holcomb has said he would support local officials who choose to adopt mask
requirements while not seeing a statewide mandate as necessary now.
"We're in a state
where the numbers could be very different county by county, even region by
region," Holcomb said. "We're comfortable where we are right now working
with local leaders."