Public Health Madison & Dane County has extended the emergency order to Friday, Nov. 5, requiring everyone over the age of 2 to wear face masks indoors. The University of Wisconsin-Madison's mask order is in effect until Friday, Nov. 26.
Citing increased cases as a result of the Delta variant across the state as well as recent studies confirming the effectiveness of masking, public health officials urged residents to mask-up and get vaccinated. Over 70% of Dane County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine according to the PHMDC dashboard.
“Vaccination is our top intervention, and we’re seeing an impact from our high rates,” said Director of PHMDC Janel Heinrich in a press release. “As we’ve done all along with our layered mitigation approach, we’ll keep masks as an extra layer of protection as we navigate our way to lower levels of community transmission thresholds.”
As of Monday, 93.3% of students and 94.4% of employees at UW-Madison are fully vaccinated.
Last month, Chancellor Rebecca Blank extended the university’s face mask order until Nov. 26. This decision was based largely on the increase in COVID-19 prevalence this time last year as well as current community prevalence and the shift to increased indoor activity as the weather gets colder. University officials are also concerned about campus community members’ travels to other communities during the holidays and winter break.
“We’re monitoring the COVID-19 health and safety situation and will determine how long to require masking based on assessments of the changing conditions, including federal guidance, state and local public health conditions and campus safety,” said University Spokesperson Meredith McGlone, emphasizing that “a multilayered approach including vaccination and masking indoors provides strong protection against the spread of COVID-19.”