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Gov. Eric Holcomb announces in a news conference Wednesday the state will remain in stage 4.5 of its reopening plan until Aug. 27.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb modified the mandatory mask rule for schools and signed the executive order Thursday keeping Indiana at Stage 4.5 of the statewide reopening plan until August 27.

Holcomb announced the signing of the executive order that extends the public health emergency for 30 more days in a news release.

In addition, the governor revised state guidance to say that students may remove their masks in the classroom when they are able to keep a distance of 3 to 6 feet from each other. Holcomb said the decision was the result of a consultation from the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Holcomb’s executive order also extends the moratorium on evictions from rental properties and the prohibition on foreclosure filings through Aug. 14.

In light of the current restriction, Holcomb said local governments may impose further guidelines.

“This virus will take what we give it, so it is incumbent upon us to be on our best behavior, practicing physical distancing, good hygiene, and masking up,” Holcomb said in the release.

Data on coronavirus hospitalizations and testing will determine what stages the state may move into, the release said.

In addition, on Aug. 17 the Indianapolis governmental complex will begin to reopen to the public. Currently agencies such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, are open and no appointment is needed.

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This article originally ran on nwitimes.com.

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