Indiana Daily Student

Health officials advise continued caution as local COVID-19 health orders end

Freshmen students walk through IU to order Starbucks on Aug. 24. The Monroe County Health Department's COVID-19 Health Order was rescinded Monday.
Freshmen students walk through IU to order Starbucks on Aug. 24. The Monroe County Health Department's COVID-19 Health Order was rescinded Monday.

The Monroe County Public Health Regulation, updated on April 7, was rescinded Monday along with Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton’s executive order limiting non-commercial gatherings within city limits to 15 individuals.

Both orders were rescinded following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 13 stating that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask or social distance in any setting.

Although the order, which required businesses and individuals to follow protocols such as wearing masks and socially distancing, is no longer in effect Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill urged continued caution in a release Tuesday.

“It is important to know that this is not a pass on masks all together. It does recognize new CDC guidance on masks and improving [COVID-19 case] numbers,” Caudill said in the release. “Wearing face coverings is still recommended, as is distancing, hand hygiene, staying home when ill, testing, and getting vaccinated for COVID-19.”

Businesses can choose to continue requiring precautionary measures such as wearing masks, the release said. The use of masks is still required at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, healthcare facilities, schools, public transportation and federal and state property, according to the release. 

“While masks may not be mandatory by public health order in all public places and many outdoor places, they are still required in many places regardless of vaccination status,” Caudill said. 

Caudill also said that individuals who aren’t fully vaccinated should continue wearing masks when in public. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, an individual must be two weeks removed from a second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, according to the CDC. 

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