Face Covering Emergency Order Issued
Effective August 19, 2021 at 12:01am, face coverings are required among people ages two and older when in any enclosed space open to the public where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, are present. Face coverings are also required while driving or riding in any form of public transportation.
Vaccination is our path out of this pandemic, and it is critically important that we vaccinate as many eligible people as possible. This helps form a circle of protection among people—including children—who are unable to be vaccinated right now. You are the best person to talk to the people in your life about getting vaccinated. Our blog post has talking points to help (also in Spanish). Find vaccine near you by visiting our website.
We strongly recommend people wear face coverings when spending time with people they don’t live with while in private residences. We also recommend people wear face coverings outdoors in crowded spaces where distancing cannot be maintained.
Businesses and workplaces can see our Recommendations and Guidance document for additional strategies for preventing the spread of the virus.
August 17 News Conference
We held a news conference with County Executive Parisi and City of Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway to discuss the new Face Covering Emergency Order. You can watch the news conference and read our Director’s remarks below:
Good morning. Many times throughout this pandemic, I have come before you and called on you to act. And time and time again, Dane County has answered that call. We are navigating new waters as the delta variant continues to spread in our county, which means once again we must take action.
It’s been three weeks since we issued a mask advisory, strongly recommending everyone wear masks indoors, whether you’re vaccinated or not. On August 6, Madison and Dane County reached a high transmission rate of COVID-19, based on guidelines from the CDC. On July 19, our 7-day average was 19 cases per day. On August 12, our 7-day average was 91.6 cases per day. That's an increase of 382%.
This is not a decision that we come to easily but feel it is prudent at this time of increasing cases and hospitalizations to require everyone wear a face covering or mask in indoors when you are with people outside of your household.
We’ve done it before and we can do it again. This simple step in combination with our best tool: vaccination, will only further help keep people safe, including children under 12 that are not yet eligible for vaccine. Given just how contagious Delta is proving to be, we must employ our best tools to stop further spread.
Together, we can protect each other from this variant. By wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, you can make a huge difference in your wellbeing and those who you care about. Please get vaccinated if you are not already, and wear a mask indoors. Thank you.