MICHIGAN CITY — Gamblers will have to keep wearing face masks inside Indiana’s casinos at least through the end of May.

Updated health guidelines issued by the Indiana Gaming Commission said operators of the 13 state-licensed casinos decided to keep the mask rule in place to stem COVID-19 spread even though Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted the statewide mask mandate as of April 6.

The casino rules require customers to wear masks except when eating, drinking or smoking while seated at a slot machine, bar or restaurant table. Gamblers must wear masks at table games, and employees are required to have masks on at all times.

The Gaming Commission said casinos will review whether to continue the mask requirement past June 1.

The state guidelines direct casinos to obtain permission from local health officials before holding any events involving large crowds and continue extra spacing between slot machine players.

That is especially key in La Porte County, which continues to be in the second-riskiest orange category on the state’s map of COVID-19 spread threat risk.

The Indiana State Department of Health on Monday reported that 812 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total to 723,443. One more death was reported, raising the pandemic toll to 12,938 confirmed and 412 probable deaths.

There were 35 new cases reported in La Porte County, raising the local totals to 11,665 infected and 209 dead, according to ISDH.

On Sunday, 1,072 additional cases and 11 deaths were reported statewide, including 46 cases and 1 death in the county. On Saturday, 1,191 cases and 5 deaths were reported in Indiana, including 47 cases in the county.

As of Monday, a total of 4,307,433 vaccine doses have been administered in Indiana, including 2,365,057 first doses and 1,942,376 individuals who are fully vaccinated.

A mobile vaccination clinic is scheduled this week from Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the parking lot of Rural King at 1340 W. State Road La Porte. Walk-ins will be accepted, or you can register at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.

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