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Mask mandate becomes mask advisory early Tuesday morning

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- At 12:01 Tuesday morning, mask mandates ordered by state and Allen County health leaders will turn into mask advisories.

However, businesses can still tell employees and customers to wear masks.

"I do kind of think that that is confusing, if they're telling us that we don't have to but the stores still want us to," Lindsy Hughes said.

Those same state and county health leaders still urge you to wear a mask to protect yourself as well as people around you.

They also want you to continue to social distance and wash your hands.

People we spoke with said they'll keep wearing their masks.

Health leaders still urge you to wear a mask, maintain social distance, and frequently wash your hands.

"Personally I'm still going to wear my mask. I have to for my job so I think I'm going to do it as my personal choice, too," Hughes said.

"When I go out to the store, and that's about all I go to because I watch my church services on video. So you'll continue to wear a mask when you go out? Yes," Sharon Hull said.

"I'm gonna wear a mask just to be protective. It's a scary thing and I think everybody has their own opinion, but I'm wearing my mask," Helen Fox said.

"I have a breathing condition so it makes me feel like I'm suffocating. So I don't like them, but I understand it's for the safety," Amy Cesaretti told us.

"They're in the process of vaccinating everyone, and it's going to take at least six months before we need to get rid of masks and social distancing and everything that's necessary. Viruses are very tricky, and now we're moving into more mutations. So therefore it's not time to let our guard down," Frederick Forde said.

"We're telling people 'for now.' That's really the only time element we're putting to it," Allen County court executive John McGauley said.

He said the courthouse will continue to require everyone to mask up, because the commissioners ordered it for all county buildings until further notice, just like in city or state buildings.

"People are going to be used to being able to take these off in certain private businesses and in private spaces. But it's going to be clear when they come to the door at the courthouse, the security folks, the signage on the door, everything will have the same message that says if you want to come in and do business here, you've got to wear a mask," he said.

While the county's order is open-ended, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said he hopes to lift the mask mandate in city buildings on the Fourth of July.

We asked some major retailers in our area to clarify their mask policies once the state and Allen County mask mandates expire Monday night.

People from Home Depot, CVS, and Target got back to us, saying they will continue to require customers and employees to wear masks and be socially distant from others.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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