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Dane County extends mask mandate to February 2022

Public Health Madison & Dane County has extended its mask mandate into February 2022, due to rising COVID-19 case numbers locally and the threat of the omicron variant. 

The public health department announced its mask mandate extension on Monday, Dec. 20. The current order was set to expire on Jan. 3. 

The new health order will run until Feb. 1, 2022. People in Dane County age two and older will need to continue wearing face coverings while indoors. 

“We saw the impact a more infectious variant of COVID-19 could have in our community when the Delta variant pushed case rates higher across the state and the country,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County. “As the state warns us of an Omicron surge that will overwhelm an already strained healthcare system, we must continue to equip ourselves in every way possible to slow the spread.”

“As we ask you to continue masking-up indoors, I want to thank everyone for adhering to these guidelines,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Your actions - masking and getting vaccinated - are helping to prevent greater illness and suffering. It’s been a long haul for all of us, and I appreciate your efforts to help keep everyone safer.”

A release from Public Health Madison & Dane County said that Dane County is currently seeing rising case numbers, the highest case averages so far this year, and high rates of hospitalization. The number of people in Dane County testing positive for COVID-19 has risen to 255 per day. 

The new mask mandate does include an exception which allows people to remove their masks if all people in a given space are vaccinated. 

Public Health encourages people to get a booster as soon as possible, to get vaccinated if not already, and to wear a mask. 

“There continues to be evidence that masks help prevent disease transmission,” said Jerry Halverson, MD, Chair of the Board of Health. “With Delta and Omicron circulating, and our hospitals near capacity, it is important for all of us in the community to continue to take this easy action.”

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