Door County emergency advisory: Wear face masks
correction: Article is updated with new information from Door County Health Officer Susan Powers who says the face mask advisory is not a legal requirement.
CORRECTION: Article is updated with new information from Door County Health Officer Susan Powers, who says the face mask advisory is not a legal requirement.
STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Door County Health Officer Susan Powers is strongly urging people in the county to use face coverings.
The advisory urges a proper face covering over the nose and mouth for everyone age 5 and older in public places. These include stores, restaurants and bars, and other “businesses of any kind,” public transportation, clinics and hospitals.
Powers clarified that the “Emergency Advisory Requiring Face Coverings” issued Thursday is not a legal requirement. “It is an advisory, not an order or ordinance. Nothing is legally enforceable,” she said, but she emphasized the importance of wearing a mask.
It’s not a county requirement, but businesses can individually require customers to wear masks.
“Door County now ranks as having a high activity level of COVID-19. The increasing numbers of confirmed cases in Door County and across the State of Wisconsin, as well as the multitude of visitors coming to our area, made it imperative that we all wear a face covering in public,” Powers said in the advisory.
There are exceptions for people who have difficulty wearing a mask because of physical, mental or developmental conditions.
People who can’t wear a mask are encouraged to ask businesses for a reasonable accommodation, such as curbside pickup or delivery.
Parents are asked not to bring children who can’t wear a mask to places, unless it’s necessary, to reduce the risk of the child being infected or infecting others.
The health department also says public gatherings and events “are considered high risk and should be avoided.” It urges people to maintain social distancing of 6 feet or more except with members of your household.
As with previous health advisories, people are asked to stay home if they feel sick, even if the symptoms are mild.
“This advisory should not be used as justification to harass or harm another person who is either wearing or not wearing a face covering,” Powers said.
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