Effective at 12:00am on June 2, 2021, all public health orders in Dane County have expired, including mask requirements and gathering limits.
“As with every decision we have made during this pandemic, the decision to lift these orders is driven by data and backed by science,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC). “Restrictions were necessary steps to keep Dane County safe and healthy, and after a difficult year of sacrifices, we are all seeing the results of those difficult decisions.”
Dane County continues to lead the state with impressive vaccination rates, with 76% of eligible residents (people 12 and older) having at least one dose. Nearly half of Dane County’s 12-15 year old population has received one dose of vaccine, after just three weeks of eligibility. Among the total Dane County population, 57.6% have completed the vaccination series.
“Being vaccinated is the best protection against COVID-19 you can receive,” said Satya Rhodes-Conway, City of Madison Mayor. “I want to thank each and every one of you who have rolled up your sleeves and gotten vaccinated and encourage those of you who have not, to sign up to get the shot.”
The high rates of vaccination are coupled with the lowest infection rates in our county in more than a year.
On April 10, we were averaging 86 cases per day. Today, Dane County is seeing fewer than 20 cases per day and these lower rates are consistent in all age groups. During the past month, hospitalizations have been stable or declining, with an average of about 25 people in hospitals with COVID-19 countywide.
Because not everyone is able to get vaccinated, particularly kids younger than 12, PHMDC recommends that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
In addition, health care settings and public transportation will continue to require masks. Other businesses or organizations may also choose to continue masking policies.
”We know there may be people and businesses out there who still want to wear masks even after the orders have expired,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Because we know that masks provide another layer of protection, we ask that everyone respect the choices of others as we all navigate this time of transition.”
Public Health will continue to conduct contact tracing when a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, and isolation and quarantine requirements will remain in place to prevent the spread of disease. We will also continue to support vaccination efforts, specifically focusing on addressing disparities by improving access and education.
As the county celebrates the milestone of being able to move past policy requirements, PHMDC also recognizes that this does not mean the community is free of disease.
Rather, the goal of these orders was always to protect healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.
Public Health continues to encourage anyone who has not yet gotten vaccinated, to make their appointment.