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Doctors warn potential COVID-19 spike if people stop wearing masks

A storefront sign in Eau Claire, Wis. requiring masks.
A storefront sign in Eau Claire, Wis. requiring masks.(Max Cotton)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Two La Crosse doctors fear Wisconsin will face severe consequences if people stop wearing masks.

Doctor Robert Freedland and Dr. William Reed took part in a discussion Tuesday on the importance of continuing to wear masks despite last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision vacating Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate. The Committee to Protect Medicaid hosted the event.

The doctors stress despite people being getting vaccinated, Wisconsin is not out of the woods yet.

“We cannot afford to let our guard down,” Reed said. “The analogy I would compare it to is the football player who gets an interception and runs it back for a touchdown but drops the ball on the five-yard-line because he starts to celebrate too soon. We cannot afford to let this infection come back.”

The doctors also warn the state could be on the verge of a fourth COVID-19 wave if people stop taking health precautions.

“We’re seeing the virus being stamped down but not out,” Reed said. “And just like a fire, it can come roaring back when it’s given a chance. I think getting rid of the mask mandate at this point before we have community immunity is inviting the virus to come back for a fourth surge here in Wisconsin.”

In addition to masking up, Reed said people should still consistently wash their hands and practice social distancing even if they’re already vaccinated.

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