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Indiana Officials Defend Decision To End All COVID-19 Restrictions

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced in a statewide address he would rescind all statewide COVID-19 restrictions, effective April 6. (Courtesy of the governor's office)

Indiana officials Wednesday defended the decision to end all statewide COVID-19 restrictions, weeks or months before all Hoosiers will get a chance to get vaccinated.

The governor announced all COVID-19 restrictions will be repealed April 6. But officials said vaccine wait times could be six weeks or more once eligibility is opened to all next week.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said the science remains the same, whether the state has a mask mandate or a mask-wearing “advisory.”

“And we’ve been doing that for the most part across the state: wearing our masks to prevent the spread of this virus to other individuals and prevent ourselves from becoming infected,” Box said.

READ MORE: How Will Indiana Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

Gov. Eric Holcomb said data – as it has throughout the pandemic – drove his latest decision.

“We have the resources to care for those who are in need – meaning ICU beds, doctors, etc.," Holcomb said. "We have a vaccine – three of them, as a matter of fact.”

Still, Holcomb said this is not a “mission accomplished” but a “proceed with caution” moment for the state.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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