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Marion County health officials suggest masks for all after CDC recommendation

Photo of the Marion County Public Health Department. (Provided Photo/MCPHD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Marion County Public Health Department on Tuesday said it recommends residents wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.

The announcement came after a Tuesday recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging. The CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Marion County health officials said they continue to urge people 12 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine at any nearby vaccine clinic.

They also suggested that vaccinated people consider some questions when deciding whether to wear a mask again, including: whether they are or they live with people who are at high risk of complications from COVID-19, whether the county’s case rate is at what the CDC deems the orange or red level and whether there are potentially unvaccinated people among them.

According to the CDC’s website, Marion County was at the orange level, or “substantial level of community transmission,” for the week from July 19-25.

The county’s mask mandate was lifted on June 8 for people who are fully vaccinated. Businesses can still require masks at their establishments.

Statement from the Marion County Public Health Department:

Consistent with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Marion County Public Health Department recommends that all Marion County residents wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. This is especially important for those who are, or who live with someone who is, at higher risk for complications from COVID-19. Information on those who are at higher risk can be found here.

Vaccination remains our most powerful tool against COVID-19, and masks provide an extra layer of protection. The Health Department continues to urge all eligible residents ages 12 and up to walk-in to a nearby COVID-19 vaccine clinic and get vaccinated today. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization and lessen the risk of death from COVID by nearly 100-fold. In fact, from January through mid-July, only roughly 1.5% of those hospitalized with COVID in Marion County were fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Millions of people in the United States have safely received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Click here for frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccinated individuals should consider the following when deciding whether to put on a mask. If the answer to at least three of these questions is yes, the Health Department recommends mask usage:

Are there potentially unvaccinated people in this space?

Is this an indoor space?

Am I (or those who I live with) at higher risk for complications from COVID-19?

Is the current case rate in Marion County at an Orange or Red level according to the CDC? (Find this information here.)

Marion County residents can find their nearest COVID-19 vaccine clinic by visiting

Marion County Public Health Department