Eau Claire County Board approves mask mandate, awaits state decision

EAU CLAIRE - A facemask mandate to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus was approved by the Eau Claire County Board at a special meeting held last week Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The vote was 24-4 in favor. The measure was discussed and tabled at the January meeting of the board for more study and discussion along with gathering more public input. A similar ordinancde waqs passed the same evening in the City of Eau Claire.

Voting against the measure were board members who represent districts in the Tri-County area east of the city of Eau Claire up to Altoona: Gary Gibson, (District No. 1 - Town of Bridge Creek), Carl Anton (District No. 5 - Augusta), Dane Zook (District No. 6 - Fall Creek) along with Eau Claire rep, Mark Beckfield. Board member Steve Chilson (District No. 7 - Towns of Clear Creek and Pleasant Valley) was not present at the meeting.

The ordinance only if the statewide mandate were to be repealed. Thus the ordinance is in limbo because while the state legislature has repealed a mask mandate, Gov. Evers simply re-established a new one. A lawsuit on a statewide mask mandate is currently under consideration by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court where it will be ultimately decided.

Under the ordinance, people who are not exempt will be required to wear masks inside public places or they risk a $200 fine. The ordinance would be in effect until June 30.

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