Green Bay area healthcare leaders lobby Brown County lawmakers to enact masking ordinance

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Healthcare systems in Northeast Wisconsin want people to wear face coverings in Brown County. Kris Schuller reports they are now lobbying county lawmakers, to pass a mandatory mask ordinance.

With COVID-19 cases increasing across the nation and the state, local healthcare leaders have sent this letter to county lawmakers asking for a masking ordinance.

“This virus does not care about politics, it doesn’t care about competition, all it cares about is can it find a host,” said the President & CEO of Bellin Health, Chris Woleske.

The letter, signed by healthcare organizations across Northeast Wisconsin, including Oneida Nation, was sent to the Brown County executive and members of the County Board, urging them to pass a mandatory face covering ordinance “…because studies have shown that wearing a face covering can prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“The mask doesn’t protect me, it protects others who are around me from these droplets coming from me to them,” Woleske said.

Woleske says a mask ordinance would slow the spread of the virus and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with new cases. But one county supervisor says a mandate is a mistake.

“There is a governmental side to it and that is the side of enforcement,” said Supervisor Pat Evans.

Evans serves on the county’s Human Services committee and next week will help decide the fate of at least three mask ordinance proposals. He supports the use of masks, just not telling people they must wear them.

“We’re going to put that burden on the police departments, to say who they should be fining and who they shouldn’t be?” Evans said.

Evans says many details, like enforcement, still need to be worked out. Woleske says healthcare leaders are eager to help.

“Let’s really sit down and craft an ordinance that makes sense for this region,” she said.

Because Woleske says COVID-19 is still a threat and masks are one way to slow it down.

The healthcare systems support mandatory face coverings while in indoor areas accessible to the public.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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