One of Wisconsin’s oldest mask requirements may finally sunset.
Public Health Madison & Dane County on Monday announced plans to end their mask mandate on March 1.
“The seven-day average of cases peaked on January 12 when 1,491 people were diagnosed with COVID-19. The seven-day average of hospitalizations peaked on January 15 with an average of 195 people hospitalized with COVID-19,” PHMDC said in a statement. “Today, cases have fallen to a seven-day average of 340 cases, less than 25% of peak levels and are continuing to decline. Hospitalizations are also down substantially to a seven-day average of 110, which is 44% lower than the peak seven-day average of hospitalizations in January 2022 caused by Omicron.”
Madison and Dane County have been under a mask mandate since at least August of last year. The city and county were under an earlier mask requirement before that.
“Letting the face covering order expire doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over. Rather, it signals that we have made it through the Omicron surge and are entering a new stage of the pandemic,” PHMDC Director Janel Heinrich warned.
“It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure; but your diligence, combined with the amazing work of Public Health and our many community partners, is the reason we have come through the pandemic with one of the lowest per-capita death rates in the nation,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Monday.
The end of the local mask mandate does not impact federal rules that require anyone riding a city bus, taking a taxi or a rideshare, and anyone using the Dane County Regional Airport.
Wisconsin’s coronavirus cases have steadily been falling for the past month.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association on Friday reported 1,052 people hospitalized with the virus. That is down from a record-high of 2,287 on January 10.
Milwaukee is also under a mask mandate until March 1, but public health managers in Milwaukee have not enforced their latest mask requirement.
This article was originally posted on Madison, Dane County mask mandates will end In March