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Outagamie County issues mandate requiring people wear masks on county property

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 4:14 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Outagamie County is the first in Northeast Wisconsin to require people to wear masks while on county property. The order goes into effect on Monday, July 13th.

More than three months ago, Outagamie County partially closed its facilities to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Employees, working in close proximity to others, were encouraged to wear a mask. But, starting on Monday, the county is expanding its precautions, issuing an order requiring a mask to be worn by everyone on county properties.

“Whether it’s recycling/solid waste, the highway shop, the downtown campus, Brewster Village, whether you’re an employee or you’re a visitors you have to wear a mask,” says County Executive Tom Nelson.

The county has seen its number of COVID-19 cases increase by 10% during the first week of July. The mask requirement is the next step to reverse that trend.

Public Health Manager Mary Dorn says, “We’re knowing that new measures may be needed and the wearing of face covering wasn’t what we were primarily emphasizing during the initial stages but now we’re knowing that that will help to prevent the spread. So, it’s encouraging the community to do their part.”

Face coverings will be provided to visitors who are unmasked. Anyone refusing to wear a mask will be asked to leave the property.

Nelson adds, "At the downtown campus, yes they will. But county wide, at all of those facilities, at those facilities we are going to do the best we can to try and enforce this and we're hoping that people will see that these in fact work."

The County Executive says there’s no way to predict how long this mandate will last, but he expects other counties will soon implement similar measures.

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