EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Governor Eric Holcomb says the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter and brighter for Indiana after a year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his address on Tuesday, Holcomb announced that 970,000 Hoosiers are now fully vaccinated.

Holcomb announced that next week, the state will open up the vaccine eligibility to all Hoosiers 16-years and older. The Governor also updated Hoosiers on Indiana’s mask mandate.

Holcomb says current Covid restrictions will be extended as is through April 5. The current public health emergency and executive order will expire on March 3.

“I will renew the public health emergency for another 30 days because it allows us to take action quickly if conditions take a turn for the worse and allows us to continue to access the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds that are helping the hardest hit Hoosiers,” said Holcomb.

“On April 6, the face covering mandate will become a state mask advisory. Although face coverings will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and in all vaccination and Covid testing sites until further notice. K through 12 schools will continue under a current face covering requirements through the remainder of the 2020 – 2021 school year. As always, local governments, businesses and other entities may impose more stringent guidelines, such as choosing to keep mass wearing mandatory in their facilities,” Holcomb said.

Customers in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will no longer be required to be seated – but six feet of spacing between tables and other seating will still be recommended.

And one real estate developer says the city of Evansville and state of Indiana should be commended.

“But Evansville and Indiana has done such a great job with the vaccinations. I got mine very orderly,” said Ed Curtis.

“Hopefully we have a position by the end of the summer where we don’t have to wear a mask anymore,” he added.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s office says he will be meeting with the Reopen Evansville Task Force and the Medical Advisory Group tomorrow to discuss next steps following the latest guidance.

(This story was originally published on March 23, 2021)