LCHD advises public to use face coverings

For the Tomahawk Leader

LINCOLN COUNTY – A day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate on Wednesday, March 31, the Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) issued a release advising those age five and older to “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, and when social distancing of six (6) feet or more cannot be maintained or guaranteed.”

“Science shows masks work,” LCHD said in the Thursday, April 1 release. “Wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is more effective when more people wear them.”

“LCHD has been consistent with recommending the use of masks throughout this pandemic,” said Lincoln County Health Officer Shelley Hersil. “We don’t want to lose the progress we have made in the recent months. Face covering is a necessary and a simple and easy tool we can all use to help get us through this pandemic as we wait for people to get vaccinated.”

LCHD recommended that those who may be unable to wear a mask or face covering in a business due to a condition or disability “should ask that business for reasonable accommodation, like a curbside pickup or a delivery option.”

Children ages two through four are highly encouraged to wear masks in public.

“If your child is not able to wear a mask, then you should only bring them to places where it is necessary, so that your child does not get or spread COVID-19 to others,” LCHD stated.

LCHD said people should wear masks in “indoor spaces when you are not at home” and “enclosed spaces such as outdoor restaurants or bars, public transportation, and ride-shares.”

“The fit of the face covering is important,” LCHD noted. “Gaps in your face mask can let air with droplets from your nose or mouth in and out around the edges of the mask. Your mask should fit snugly against your face and have at least two layers of material. You can check for gaps by feeling for air flow around the top, side, or bottom of your mask.”

LCHD also discussed when it is not necessary to wear a mask. For those who have not been vaccinated, a face covering is not needed “inside your home around your household members” or “outdoors where it is possible to maintain six feet of distance from others.”

Those who have been vaccinated may forgo wearing a mask when “around other vaccinated individuals not in a public setting; and do not have symptoms of COVID-19” and “visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household who are all at low risk for severe disease.”

“We want to remind you how important it is to continue to protect our loved ones, neighbors and community by wearing face covering,” LCHD said. “It is one way to protect others, as well as ourselves.”

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