Indiana’s LaGrange County requiring face masks after virus spike

A northern Indiana health department is requiring everyone to wear a mask or face covering over the mouth and nose following a steep increase of COVID-19 cases since Memorial Day.

LaGrange County’s cases have spiked, with 215 new cases since Memorial Day. In all, the number has almost quadrupled in 21 days.

Overall, the county of about 40,000 people has reported 294 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with two deaths. The state health department says 1,236 people have been tested in the county.

“Our county has witnessed a sharp rise in COVID-19 illnesses, and our best defense is hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks,” a press release from the LaGrange County Health Department said Monday. “Please do your part in stopping this disease.”

LaGrange is one of the few counties in Indiana to mandate the wearing of face coverings, The Journal Gazette reported.

The new rule applies to the following areas: indoors open to the public, including public transportation, van transports, groceries and restaurants; outdoor public areas where a distance of 6 feet from individuals outside of one’s household cannot be maintained; and private indoor or outdoor areas where a distance of 6 feet from individuals outside of one’s household cannot be maintained.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box recently mentioned LaGrange and adjacent Elkhart County as having spikes. She also said LaGrange County was nearing capacity for hospital beds.

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