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Dane County to enforce mandatory mask policy next week

MADISON (WKOW) -- Public Health Madison Dane County announced Tuesday morning masks or face coverings will be required in public and private buildings effective Monday, July 13.

Emergency Order #8 goes into effect at 8:00 a.m.

Face coverings will be required of everyone five-years-old and up when in an enclosed space with anyone other than people of their living unit are present.

The order is countywide.

“Public health research now shows that face coverings are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Given the current number of COVID-19 infections in our county, we need to all be wearing face coverings every time we leave the house,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County.

“However, we do not take these orders lightly. We are facing two public health pandemics—COVID-19 and racism. People of color in our county have already experienced racism and discrimination when wearing masks in public, which is unacceptable. It is on every person in our county to do better. People should assume that everyone wearing a mask is doing it to protect you and themselves. If someone is not wearing a mask, assume they are genuinely not able to do so,” continued Heinrich.

“Masks and distance are really the two most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19,” County Executive Joe Parisi said. “Given the recent rapid increases in cases in our county—that happened even before school and university classes resume this fall—it’s imperative we take this step now to try and slow the march of COVID through our community. Nothing that’s happening right now is easy, or normal, but it’s what we must do – come together as a community and put everything we have into keeping one another safe,” Parisi added. 

County, city and public health officials will hold a media briefing at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday with more information on the order.

Courtney Terlecki

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