7/22/2020 Indiana press conference

During Wednesday afternoon's press conference, Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver outlined possible procedures for schools for when students test positive for the virus.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that beginning Monday, the entire state will be subject to a mask mandate.

"Best practices are best for all," he said during his Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Holcomb announced the order will require masks or face coverings for all Hoosiers ages 8 or older in public indoor entities and elsewhere, including schools.

Family and Social Services Secretary Jennifer Sullivan clarified that masks are required for all students between 3rd and 12th grade while in school and on school buses, barring a number of exceptions.

Masks are not required, she said, when social distancing in classrooms is possible, during outdoor recess, when deemed necessary by school officials because the masks would impede instruction or when relevant to a student's individualized education program.

No threshold has been set for when an entire school should close due to the virus, ISDH Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver said.

Tippecanoe County Health Department Administrator Khala Hochstedler noted that Indiana has seen alarming numbers of new cases per day recently, reaching peaks that rival the rapid daily increases observed in late April.

"We've been hoping that (a statewide mandate) would happen as more counties in our state get on board with (mask mandates)," she said. "Our numbers aren't looking great as a state.

"If you want to stay open and not do shelter-in-place, you have to have a mask mandate."

The mandate will last as long as necessary to keep Hoosiers safe, Holcomb said.

This story is ongoing, and will update as more information becomes available.

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