Public Health Madison & Dane County issued an order Tuesday mandating all residents to wear a mask or face covering in any enclosed building with anyone outside of their immediate household present beginning July 13.
The order requires everyone age five and older to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth when inside enclosed areas. Children two to four years old are encouraged to wear a mask, but not required. For those with a condition or disability who cannot wear a mask, the order asks that businesses provide accommodations, like curbside pickup or delivery.
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A face covering is not required when eating at a restaurant, but individuals must keep six feet of distance between themselves and people outside their household, according to the order. The order also applies to those visiting another person’s household.
Director of PHMDC Janel Heinrich said in a news release that research shows wearing a mask or face covering is 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,” Heinrich said. “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.”
PHMDC recommends taking additional precautions to protect yourself and people around you from coronavirus, including staying home if you feel sick and whenever you’re able to and staying six feet away from other people.
If you do go out, PHMDC said to assume you came into contact with the virus because over a third of those with a current case do not know where they contracted it.
If you have symptoms, like a fever, cough or shortness of breath, PHMDC said to call your doctor to get tested — University of Wisconsin students can also contact University Health Services.
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Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in the PHMDC news release masks are a good way to protest against the spread of the virus through asymptomatic cases.
“Science keeps informing our response to this virus,” Rhodes-Conway said. “The recent spike in cases showed that asymptomatic cases were on the rise in Dane County and so was community spread with no known source of infection. If people are sick and don’t know it, mandatory masking protects all of us“