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Businesses, customers adjust to governor’s mask mandate

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Mask order details 2
Governor Holcomb's mask mandate, which went into effect July 27th, is requiring adjustments from businesses and customers across the Hoosier state.
People wearing masks

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - Indiana gets serious about "masking up".

Governor Holcomb's mask mandate went into effect Monday across the Hoosier state.

It's another example of how folks are having to make adjustments to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Lots of people have been wearing face coverings for weeks, but now for the first time in Indiana, if you want to enter a public building like Citizens Square in Fort Wayne or any number of businesses, you have to have a mask on.

If you try to get into the Allen County Courthouse under the governor's order you won't even get past the metal detector security station inside the front door.

Holcomb's face covering mandate makes it a requirement to "cover-up" if you are indoors in a government facility, or a business like the Old National Bank branch in downtown Fort Wayne.

Signs are posted on the bank's entrance doors.

Management with Cottage Flowers on East Wayne Street told us on day one of the order pretty much everybody coming into the shop had complied with the mask order.

But because police essentially aren't enforcing the mandate, which includes no criminal penalties or fines, it can put businesses in an uncomfortable position with those who refuse to obey the measure.

You have to wear a mask coming and going from a restaurant, but you don't have to have it on while you're eating.

We talked to construction worker Spencer York, who was catching lunch at Pint & Slice on South Calhoun Street.

He is abiding by the mandate while indoors, but he thinks it is a classic case of government overreach.

"It makes it harder to breathe out here, especially in this humid…humidity, and yeah, I think we just need to let our immune system take care of ourselves, honestly. I don't see what the big deal is about this. But everybody else is different," York said.

"It makes it the equivalent of a law and I think for my own personal benefit and my family it's important that we keep our own germs to ourselves without sharing them with others," said Fort Wayne attorney Sam Bolinger, who supports the new mandate.

The order is scheduled to run through August 26th, subject to extension if COVID infections remain a problem.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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