The Pierce County Health Department has released an advisory order requiring the use of face masks for all individuals five and older.
The advisory order comes after Gov. Tony Evers statewide mask mandate was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 31.
The Pierce County order applies to all indoor public spaces where a non-household member is present, according to a news release.
The advisory order will be in effect until June 4.
Vaccinations are underway in Pierce County, but the release states supply is limited and most adults have not yet been vaccinated. Only a quarter of Pierce County adults have received the first dose, Public Health Director AZ Snyder said, and none of the vaccines have been approved yet for those under 16.
Hospitals in the metro area are still seeing high numbers, with less than 2% of ICU beds available on March 30, Snyder said.
“Doing the right thing now will allow us to finish out the school year, keep those waiting for vaccines safe, and ensure this summer is the best it can be,” she said.
Credible complaints for violating the order may be investigated by the Pierce County Public Health Department, with possible directives issued to a business or individual. The advisory order follows the same enforcement process as the previous county mass gathering advisory order.
“This is not about punishing anyone,” Snyder said. “It’s about communicating the importance of continued masking to all Pierce County residents.”
Masks are a simple way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the release. Masks reduce the spray of respiratory droplets that are the main way that COVID-19 spreads. The most protective masks fit snugly and have multiple layers.
More information on the advisory order and COVID-19 can be found at the county website at co.pierce.wi.us.