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Dane County extends face mask order until Jan. 3

November 23, 2021

Students, faculty and staff are reminded that both UW–Madison and Dane County have extended masking requirements into January.

Public Health Madison & Dane County announced that it has extended through Jan. 2, 2022 an emergency order requiring that everyone age 2 and older wear a face covering or mask when in any enclosed building, where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, could be present.

UW–Madison’s mask order remains in effect on campus until Jan. 15 and will be re-evaluated before that point. UW is a state entity and its orders are not affected by Dane County decisions.

PHMDC shared the following information about its action:

“When we issued the order that is currently in place we had hoped that the downward trend we had been experiencing would continue and we would not be in a place where we would need to consider issuing an extension or new order.

“Today, unfortunately, we are in a very different place. Dane County has had consistently lower levels of disease than almost all other Wisconsin counties due to high vaccination rates and masking policies, but is still classified as high transmission as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

“The rate of disease in Dane County has nearly doubled in the last three weeks and the rate among children newly eligible for vaccine is at an all-time high. While severe outcomes for children with COVID remain low, it is important that 5-11 year old vaccination efforts continue, given that they may play an important role in community transmission.  We also know that hospitalizations have risen slightly in the last week. …

“With this in mind, it seems prudent to continue to require masking but to do so in a way that also supports moving towards a sense of normalcy understanding that COVID will not be going away  … therefore, we are planning on issuing an order this afternoon that will continue to require masking in public spaces but will allow for exemptions as follows: When in an enclosed space with individuals who are fully vaccinated.”