Statewide mask mandate in effect for Wisconsin
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - After a recent spike in Wisconsin COVID-19 cases, a statewide mask mandate issued by Governor Tony Evers went into effect Saturday.
Over the last few months, a face mask is something that has become an essential item for many, almost as important as their keys and wallet. Now, it is required for anyone five year or older when inside of a building. For local businesses, they say they are glad the governor issued it.
“It seems even more easy for us to point to what the state is doing at some level,” Blue Ox Running co-owner Adam Condit. “It’s easier and takes the pressure off of us to make the decision.”
“I think it’s been more difficult not having the mandate because having people pop in and question is this a mask establishment, is this a non-mask establishment,” says Revival Records assistant manager Spencer Fairclough. “I think that just puts a lot more confusion, especially on a small business like this”
Fairclough says Revival wanted to see how customers would react to the mandate, but so far they haven't had any issues.
“We started up yesterday, a day early, just to kind of dip our toes as it where to see what kind of fight and struggle we’d be up against today,” Fairclough says. “Today is definitely going to be the telling day.”
Wisconsin is the 32nd state to issue a mask mandate, which runs from August 1st through September 28th. Many in Eau Claire say they are in favor of it.
“It’s likely much safer than not wearing a mask,” says Dan Carson of Eau Claire. “My life is much longer than two months. I can wait.”
Violating the mandate carries a $200 fine, but many local law enforcement agencies have said they will not be enforcing it. While the mandate has only been in effect for one day, those WEAU spoke with say things are still going smoothly.
“Whether it is businesses that I’m going into or our own business, there’s been a heightened awareness and it’s just become a little bit of a new normal and just not that big of deal in my opinion,” Condit says.
“I’m hoping it doesn’t turn people away,” Fairclough says. “I’m hoping this is something that can bring the community together.”
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