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IU officials discussing how to increase masking at basketball games

Al Durham (foreground) and Trayce Jackson-Davis playing basketball for IU at Assembly Hall.

(Misty Minear/Indiana Athletics)

Indiana University officials say they’re discussing how to increase masking at IU basketball games.

During Thursday evening’s meeting of the Monroe County Board of Health, members discussed their concern with lack of compliance with the county’s mask mandate.

READ MORE: Board of Health extends Monroe County mask mandate through December

The issue came up during the weekly COVID news conference among city, county and IU officials.

“We’re evaluating what we can do to increase it,” Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s chief health officer, said Friday. “We're working as best we can with everyone.”

Kirk White, who heads IU’s COVID Response Unit, said there is signage at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall asking people to mask up. They’ve asked event staff to go through the aisles and ask people to put their masks back on, but it hasn’t been particularly successful.

“Some of those folks are getting verbally abused as they try to present this positive message of reminder,” White said.

When asked if the university had considered using a cannon to fire masks into the crowd, as is often done with t-shirts or hot dogs, officials said the masks’ light weight would make it difficult, and that masks are available throughout the arena.

COVID-19 DEATHS

During the news conference, Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill said the county has been averaging about one COVID-related death each day since Oct. 18.

Caudill didn’t know how many of those people were unvaccinated, but said less than 5 percent of hospitalizations in recent weeks were among vaccinated people.  

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