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PHMDC Renews County-Wide Mask Mandate

PHMDC Renews County-Wide Mask Mandate

Despite previously saying it had no plans to renew the mask mandate after a previous iteration expired on November 27, Public Health of Madison and Dane County (“PHMDC”) has issued a new mask mandate to run until January 3.

Is This Order the Same as the Previous Iterations?

Largely, yes. The current order substantially mirrors the language in the PHMDC mask mandates since September. For a refresher, you can read our KEW Tip on the previous order here. The new order notes a significant increase in cases among children ages 5-11, and a near-doubling of the average cases per day across the board, up to 163 people per day.

Individuals over the age of 2 must still wear a face covering (excluding things like bandanas, single layer neck gaiters, face shields, ski masks, etc.) in any enclosed space open to the public where other people beyond members of the individual’s household are present, as well as while riding in any form of public transportation, with some exceptions.

An individual required to wear a mask may remove it when, just as before, eating or drinking, communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, when obtaining services like dental services that require removal, while sleeping or swimming or engaging in work where wearing a face covering would create a safety risk, when necessary to confirm identity or allowed by federal/state law, and when playing a wind instrument with a fabric bell cover if spaced 6 feet apart from other individuals.

Individuals who are incapacitated or who have medical/intellectual/developmental/mental health conditions that prevent mask-wearing need not wear a face covering.

All places subject to the order must post a sign notifying the public that face coverings are required and have a written protective measure policy ensuring that employees comply with face covering requirements.

What has Changed?

Previous iterations of the order contained an additional exception to the face-covering requirement: Presenters at any type of presentation for an audience, such as a religious, political, or educational presentation, need not wear a mask as long as everyone in attendance is fully vaccinated and the presenter is at least 6 feet away from the attendees. This exception has been broadened. Now, face coverings are not required when in an enclosed space with individuals who are fully vaccinated. Dane County defines “fully vaccinated” as “two (2) weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose vaccine series for COVID-19 (such as Pfizer-BioNTech’s or Moderna’s vaccine) or two (2) weeks after their first dose in a single-dose vaccine series for COVID-19 (such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine).”

As always, if you have questions about your rights and obligations under this order, or any local orders or ordinances, feel free to contact the landlord attorneys at Kramer, Elkins & Watt, LLC at 608-709-7115 or .