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Coronavirus

Indiana Governor Lifting Statewide Mask Mandate in 2 Weeks

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s governor plans to lift the statewide mask mandate and remaining COVID-19 business restrictions in two weeks.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a Tuesday evening speech that the state’s steep declines in coronavirus hospitalization and deaths rates along with the growing number of people fully vaccinated justify the steps starting April 6.

Holcomb said he hoped the state was seeing the “tail end of this pandemic” that has killed nearly 13,000 people in the state over the past year.

Holcomb said local officials would still have the authority to impose tougher restrictions in response to COVID-19 cases in their communities and that face mask use would still be required in K-12 schools for rest of this school year. He urged residents to continue wearing masks in public and that bars and restaurants continue to space out their tables.

Holcomb has faced public pressure and from conservative state lawmakers to ease restrictions, especially after governors in Texas and other states have done so recently.

But some health experts worry it is premature to lift the statewide restrictions.

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New Evacuations for Communities Near California Forest Fire

JACKSON, Calif. — Evacuation orders were expanded Tuesday for remote California communities near a wildfire that may have been sparked by fireworks or a barbecue on the Fourth of July in a mountainous region that's a top tourism destination.

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