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Dane Co. health board condemns resolution opposing mask mandate

The supervisors argue that the constitutionality of Dane County’s latest mask mandate should be questioned, as well as the science behind it
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Members of the Board of Health for Madison and Dane County are speaking out against a resolution introduced by county board supervisors that opposes the mask mandate.

County Resolution 157 was introduced at the County Board meeting on Sept. 1 by supervisors Jeff Weigand, Dave Ripp and Tim Rockwell. The supervisors argue that the constitutionality of Dane County’s latest mask mandate should be questioned, as well as the science behind it. They ask the board to pull back the emergency order and conduct a public hearing to address the matter.

“Prior to imposing government mandates, the Public Health Officer should hear the views of the residents of Dane County, explain the reasoning for an order to the County Board, and seek consensus from the Board and the general public,” the resolution states.

In a letter, the county Board of Health members described the resolution as “disheartening” and said public health’s decisions are based on science and facts.

“Although we have made great progress with high vaccination rates in Dane County, we are still in an active global pandemic,” the health officials wrote. “The Board fully supports the use of Emergency Public Health Orders to continue to protect our Community. The orders are brought forth with thoughtful consideration of data by experienced and knowledgeable public health staff.”

The resolution was placed on file with prejudice in a voice vote, according to county documents.

The Dane County mask order was extended last week into October after an exemption was added for those playing wind instruments that have fabric bell covers. Health officials explained the change came after consultation with other communities about their guidance, and the agency noted federal officials do not address the matter.

Dane County became the first county in the state Monday where 70% of its residents have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series.

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