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Legal Update Article

Indiana Opens COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to All Hoosiers; Relaxes Mask Mandate

With increased vaccine availability and decreased transmission over the past weeks, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has opened COVID-19 vaccination to all Hoosiers at least 16 of age beginning March 31, 2021. He has announced that the statewide mask mandate will be relaxed to a statewide mask advisory beginning April 6, 2021, the day after the NCAA men’s tournament championship game is held in Indianapolis.

Masks will continue to be mandated at state buildings and facilities and COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites. Face covering requirements will continue in K-12 schools. Local governments and businesses and other entities may impose more stringent guidelines.

In addition, beginning April 6, Indiana’s venue mandates will be lifted, including the requirements that customers be seated in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, that tables be six feet apart, and that spacing be maintained between non-household parties. Instead, all decisions about venue capacity will be in the hands of local officials. This can include stricter standards than the state as a whole.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, has announced that the March 1 mask mandate and capacity restrictions will continue for Indianapolis residents. Although positivity rates and other indicators are trending in the right direction for Indianapolis, Mayor Hogsett stated, “[T]he threat of an uptick is not yet behind us.”

Holcomb also announced plans for a large employer vaccination program to support vaccine distribution and expansion. Once vaccinated, Hoosiers can print a vaccine certificate through the Indiana Vaccination Portal. This application also can provide an individual’s vaccination details, including the date administered, facility, and manufacturer.

Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction. Jackson Lewis attorneys are closely monitoring updates and changes to legal requirements and guidance and are available to help employers weed through the complexities involved with state-specific or multistate-compliant plans.

If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team.

(Law clerk Cheyna Galloway contributed significantly to this article.)

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