On July 24, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-37, which requires face coverings to be used within the state in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This order took effect on Monday, July 27. Here's what you need to know about the requirements of the mask order and how it affects upcoming events in Morgan County. The directive will be in effect for a period of 30 days, and may be rescinded, modified or extended prior to expiring at Midnight on August 26. Any decisions on extending or modifying the order will be made by the Governor in direct response to the status of Indiana's COVID-19 data. During this time period, individuals in the state of Indiana shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth under the following conditions:
- inside a business. public building, or other indoor place open to the public. This does not extend, however, to private offices, private work spaces or meetings in which six feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained between people not in the same household;
- in an outdoor public space wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; or
- using public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle.
Here's what that means for event and attraction attendees, and retail or restaurant customers in Morgan County and throughout the state. As venues, both indoor and outdoor, are beginning to plan and host more events and activities again, you can find information about upcoming events in the area on our event calendar. (We have also created a virtual event category for those who aren't yet ready to be out and about.) Please note that individual communities, school districts and business owners can impose more stringent requirements than those ordered by the Governor, if they so choose. Please follow all requirements and safety recommendations at events, businesses or attractions you choose to attend.
Indoor Events, Retail Shopping and Dining
If you are attending an indoor event at any venue, visiting a retail shopping establishment or dining inside a local restaurant, you should wear a face covering as you enter the venue. Face coverings are required throughout any indoor events or activities while you are in public spaces. This applies to all retail establishments, event venues and restaurants. Once you are seated at a restaurant or dining establishment you can remove your mask while eating and drinking. The mask should be worn any time you leave your table and upon leaving the establishment. If you must enter a restaurant to obtain outdoor seating, you are expected to wear a face covering while inside the building, but it can be removed once you are in the outdoor seating area as tables should be distanced appropriately from other diners.
Outdoor concerts, festivals and other events that take place outside are exempt from the face mask requirement, provided you can maintain six feet of social distancing from anyone not in your household. For example, you should wear a face covering while in line to enter the outdoor venue, while inside any building located at the venue, while in line for concessions or restrooms and any time six feel of distance cannot be maintained. This applies to outdoor concerts, farm visits, park events and outdoor sporting events. Please plan to have a mask with you at outdoor events and during park visits in case you encounter crowded conditions where you cannot maintain the appropriate six fee of distance.
Please keep in mind that any large events taking place in the county must have had their safety plans approved by the Morgan County Board of Health in order to hold their events. All event attendees are asked to abide by all safety requirements and recommendations to ensure that all are able to continue to enjoy these outdoor events. Concert attendees in particular are asked to maintain social distancing at events by ensuring that you set up your seating at least six feet away from others. Attendees are asked NOT to attend events if they have any symptoms, if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. or if they are at increased risk from the virus.
Schools throughout the county and state will be back in session soon and the Governor's mask requirement does apply to children during the school day in grades 3-12, regardless of age, school faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, volunteers and all visitors while physically present in any school building, facility or grounds at all times. Individual schools may also have specific requirements for their district, so be sure to check for your specific district requirements.
Face coverings are required while on a school bus or other school sponsored mode of transportation. Exemptions to the face covering requirement in relation to schools are as follow: during times when students and staff are eating or drinking; for adult faculty and staff who are working in a space where all persons can maintain six feet of social distancing; for children between the ages of two (2) and eight (8) except when on school transportation, though face coverings are strongly recommended for these ages if possible; in a classroom setting where the space is configured so that all students and staff can maintain six feet of social distancing at all times (in a classroom where six feet of space cannot be maintained, face coverings must be worn, however if the instructor can maintain six feet of space from all students, the instructor may remove their mask); during recess periods, provided that social distancing can be maintained.
These requirements also apply to extracurricular and co-curricular activities. Students, teachers, coaches, volunteers and other personnel must wear face coverings during these activities when not engaged in strenuous physical activity unless six feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained. Spectators at athletic events are required to wear face coverings when on school grounds.
Exemptions to the above include private residences and any of the following: children under two (2) years of age; children between the ages of two (2) and eight (8) years of age unless otherwise required under this order; any person with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability which prevents wearing a face covering; any person who is deaf or hard of hearing, or while communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication; any person for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines; any person while consuming food or drink, while seated at a restaurant or other retail food establishment to eat or drink; any person while exercising or engaging in sports activity and who can maintain six feet of social distancing from other people not in the same household; any person who is in a swimming pool, lake or similar body of water and who can maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; any person while driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household; any person obtaining a service which requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a health-related or personal care service involving the face, however the removal of the face covering must be temporary and limited only to the extent necessary to obtain the service; any person, upon request, as part of a law enforcement investigatory stop or investigation or court-related proceeding; any person who is incarcerated; any person who is experiencing homelessness; any person while giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience if the person can maintain six fee of social distancing from another person not in the same household; or any person attending or engaged in a religious service as he or she must already maintain six fee of social distancing from another person not in the same household.