A year ago this week, my daughter went on Spring Break. She never went back to school for the entire 2019-2020 school year. It was only the start of what is probably the craziest year of our lives. We dealt with homeschooling, quarantine, lost jobs, closed businesses, fears, foreclosures, mental and emotional issues, horrible illness and so much more. And, to date, 12,553 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19. 

But today, it was announced by the Indiana Health Department that beginning March 31st, Hoosiers older than 16 will all be eligible to schedule an appointment to receive a COVID vaccine which is great news.

Thank you for being patient, Hoosiers. Beginning March 31st, Indiana residents older than 16 can schedule their #COVID19 vaccine appointment. Visit ourshot.in.gov or call 211 to find a site near you on March 31. #OurShotHoosiers

For more information on scheduling a vaccine, click here. 

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It was also announced in a press conference by Gov. Eric Holcomb that the mask mandate will become a mask advisory in Indiana on April 6th.

Starting April 6, decisions about venue capacity and social gatherings will be made by local officials. Customers in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will no longer be required by the state to be seated. Six feet of spacing between tables and other seating will still be recommended as is spacing between non-household parties.

The statewide face-covering mandate will become a mask advisory on April 6. Face coverings will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and in all vaccination and COVID testing sites until further notice. K-12 schools will continue under current requirements through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Local governments, private businesses and other entities may institute more stringent guidelines. The Indiana Department of Health will continue to provide county-level, color-coded metrics to provide easy-to-understand information about whether virus levels are increasing or decreasing locally. 

Life could be returning to normal in Indiana just a year after it went sideways for us.

Stay tuned for more updates. We'll bring them to you as they become available.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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