Dane County health officials announced Monday that they are extending the countywide mask mandate until Nov. 5.
No changes were made to the existing face-covering order, which requires that everyone age 2 and older wear a face covering or mask when in any enclosed building, where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, could be present.
Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health Madison & Dane County said that “vaccination is our top intervention, and we’re seeing an impact from our high rates.”
“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 CDC’s community transmission thresholds,” Heinrich said in a statement.
The rate of cases in Dane County has risen rapidly since the Delta variant became dominant. On July 19, the weekly case rate per 100,000 was 22, and on Sept. 19, the weekly case rate per 100,000 was 209, according to numbers from Dane County Public Health. On Sept. 27, the weekly case rate per 100,000 was 157. While lower than in early September, Dane County remains in CDC’s high level of community transmission.
“Children under 12 are still unable to get vaccinated, which means it is just as important now as it has ever been, to get vaccinated if you can, wear a mask when you should, and wash your hands often,” City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement. “It is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable population until they are eligible to be vaccinated.”
Overall, 85 percent of the eligible population of people over 12 in Dane County have received at least one dose of vaccine, 73.6% of the total population.