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Masks still required in some places despite health orders ending

Dane County public health orders ended Wednesday, including mask mandate.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:05 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Although public health orders in Dane County have expired, the relaxed recommendations do not apply to all places. Hospitals and schools are among the places where mask requirements are still in effect.

“We still remain masked to this day and will for some time,” said Dr. Mark Thompson, SSM Health regional president of medical groups.

SSM Health is one of eight area health organizations supporting universal masking in health care settings. The decision is based on CDC recommendations for hospitals and clinics.

“There’s some vulnerable patient populations that may not have been able to receive a vaccine and are at higher risk,” said Dr. Thompson.

The largest group that falls into this category is young children. Many are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and even of age 12 and up who are, vaccination numbers are not where officials would like to see them.

That’s why many school districts will continue mask wearing for now. Madison Metropolitan Schools are among those that will keep masks and distancing requirements in place until the end of the school year, which is just a few days away. Plans are in the works for the rest of the year.

“The summer school decision....our families can expect in just a matter of a few days,” said Tim LeMonds, MMSD spokesperson. As for the fall school session, LeMonds says families can expect that decision in the coming weeks.

NBC15 also reached out to other businesses planning to keep masks on inside their buildings. One was a local coffee shop that has signs inside asked unvaccinated customers to keep their masks on. The manager and owners declined to go on camera.

NBC15 also heard from some area spas and salons that plan to require masks regardless of vaccination status due to the close contact required to do their jobs.

We also reached out to the Diocese of Madison. Recommendations to its 102 parishes, now that there are no local orders in the 11 counties that make up the diocese are that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks and distance from those outside of the same household.

If you’re going to a business or church, it’s recommended that you check ahead of time to learn what their rules are if you’re unsure.

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