Local mask ordinances still up in the air in Northeast Wisconsin

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WMTV) - Municipalities in Northeast Wisconsin are implementing their own mask ordinances Wednesday after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the governor’s statewide public health order.

The Supreme Court ruling does not impact local ordinances, business mask requirements or federal mask requirements. Private entities may still require masks.

While the ruling does not end the mask mandates in Dane and Rock County, things are still up in the air in Northeast Wisconsin.

Green Bay’s municipal mask ordinance expires at midnight on Wednesday. The council is calling an emergency special meeting Thursday to discuss the next steps.

Outagamie County says Public Health Officer Natalie Vandeveld will issue a local public health order on Thursday, April 1, requiring face coverings anywhere under the jurisdiction of the county health department. The exceptions are the City of Appleton and Oneida Nation, which have their own health departments.

The order will apply to everyone older than the age of four when indoors or in enclosed spaces around people who are not household members, with some exceptions.

“While a statewide approach is much more effective in combating a global pandemic, today’s Supreme Court decision leaves us no other choice but to act at the local level to protect the health and safety of our community,” County Executive Tom Nelson wrote in a statement Wednesday.

The Outagamie County Board passed a resolution last month urging the Legislature to work with the governor for a statewide strategy to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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