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Mask ordinance takes effect Tuesday for Appleton owned buildings, Neenah residents discuss own mandate

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A mask ordinance for Outagamie County buildings began Monday morning, and another one starts Tuesday for buildings owned by the City of Appleton.

A sign outside the Outagamie County Justice Center just went up to warn anyone who comes inside to put on a mask.

In Appleton, Mayor Jake Woodford says it’s something the public should expect to see a lot more of.

“I mean it wasn’t all that long ago the guidance coming from the CDC was that masks weren’t necessary, they weren’t effective and people were directed not wear them. We know now that is not accurate and that masks are an effective means of controlling transmissions,” said Mayor Woodford.

This includes buildings like City Hall, Police and Fire Departments as well as park pavilions.

Currently, if you violate the mask ordinance in Appleton, you won’t receive a ticket and it won’t be enforced by police. However, health officials say it should be a chance for dialogue.

Meanwhile, in Neenah, one resident is circulating a petition to require mask wearing everywhere in public.

So far, that petition has received about 300 signatures, although there’s been some negative feedback as well.

“I think it’s the best possible option for a community to stay healthy and to avoid the economic crisis of another potential lockdown that could happen,” said Neenah resident Celia Nelbach.

The petition will eventually be presented to the Neenah City Council for consideration.

“In Appleton people are used to doing the right thing. I don’t think we’re going to end up with enforcement issues at all. I think people - once it’s clearly explained and the reason behind it - we’ll get good compliance,” says Appleton Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht.

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