Door County, Wis. (July 24, 2020) – Effective Friday, July 24, 2020 at 8:00 AM Door County Public Health is issuing an Emergency Advisory which stipulates that everyone 5 years and older wear a face covering or mask when in public.
The following precautions are advised to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Door County:
1. Per this advisory, people should properly wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times when in any public spaces, which includes businesses of any kind (retail, grocery, restaurants, bars, gas stations, etc.) health care settings, and public transportation. Individuals are also advised to wear face coverings when in someone else’s home when you are not of the same household. Children ages 2 through 4 are highly encouraged to wear masks in public, children 5 and older are advised to wear masks.
2. Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people who are not members of your household unit. Respiratory droplets are in the air when other people cough, sneeze, talk and breathe. Staying 6 feet from others will lower the chances of you coming in contact with the virus from those droplets.
3. In-person events and gatherings are considered high risk and should be avoided. The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering, and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19. Highest risk are gatherings where it is difficult to remain spaced 6 feet apart, and attendees travel from outside the local area.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
5. Stay home if you are sick, even with mild symptoms. If you have symptoms, get tested. Watch for symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have these symptoms, call your primary care physician or the Door County Medical Center COVID-19 Testing Hotline at 920-746-3700 to be tested.
We do not take this advisory lightly. Scientific evidence shows that masks play an important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. This is a critical time for Door County with a marked increase in COVID-19 activity over the past few weeks. Door County now ranks as having a high activity level of COVID-19. The increasing numbers of confirmed cases in Door County and across the State of Wisconsin, as well as the multitude of visitors coming to our area, make it imperative that we all wear a face covering in public.
People can cover their faces a variety of ways to comply with this advisory. Simply wear a bandana, scarf, or neck gator around your nose and mouth. Or you may create a cloth face covering by either sewing one or using a no-sew method on the CDC website. Medical-grade surgical masks or N95 respirators are not required or necessary for general public use.
Exceptions may be made for certain activities such as eating at a restaurant, but during those activities, ensuring six feet distancing of individuals not from the same household should be followed at all times.
Some people may be exempted if they have physical, mental, or developmental conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering. If someone is unable to wear a mask or face covering in a business due to a condition or disability, people should ask that business for reasonable accommodation, like a curbside pickup or delivery option . If your child is not able to wear a mask, only bring them to places where it is necessary, so that your child does not get or spread COVID-19 to others.
This advisory should not be used as justification to harass or harm another person who is either wearing or not wearing a face covering.
With the COVID-19 virus being a significant threat, it is on every person in our community to follow these precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Thank you for your commitment to keeping our community safe as we navigate these coming months.
This advisory will remain in effect until further notice. Dated this 23 day of July, 2020.
Susan Powers, RN, BSN, Door County Health Officer