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Brown County Board to explore possible mask ordinance

The proposals will be explored during the Human Services Committee meeting.
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:42 PM CDT
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - As we continue to see the number of positive coronavirus cases continue to go up across the state, the Brown County Board of Supervisors is starting to talk about a possible face mask ordinance. 

However, it could be another month before any kind of regulation would be approved. 

“We had the director of the CDC, Dr. Redfield come out and said that we could pretty much wipe out the coronavirus if we all wore masks for 8 weeks. We’ve been going at this for four months. I think at this point in time it’s time to mandate mask wearing,” said Supervisor Tom Sieber. 

He is on the Human Services Committee, which is the first stop for the discussion of a mask mandate.

While some see the face covering as a protective tool, others are seeing it as a statement.

“A mask is now political and that’s just the way it is. I can see that in the emails the phone calls and the personal contacts,” said Supervisor Patrick Evans, who is also on the Human Services Committee. 

No matter what your perception is, the supervisors have been fielding hundreds of emails from constituents on all sides of the issue; causing them to look at options to help stop the spread of the virus. 

What a mask mandate or ordinance would look like has yet to be determined. 

“We’re going to discuss whether we should make wearing masks mandatory, whether it’s going to be in county buildings, county wide or if there is just going to be specific locations or gatherings that are going to be required to wear face masks,” said Sieber. 

Evans has a few problems with the proposals. 

“I support people wearing masks, but to vote on a mandate, I’m not going to support that. How are we going to regulate this, how are we going to mandate this?” asked Evans. 

The Human Services Committee will discuss its options at its meeting on Wednesday, July 22.

 Details on how the public can weigh-in, in person, are still being worked out. 

For now, people are encouraged to call or email their supervisors.  

After approval from the committee, an ordinance would be sent to the full county board.

The board doesn’t meet again until the middle of August, unless a special meeting is called. 

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