GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Mask ordinance to be considered for city of Green Bay

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A Green Bay alderperson says more must be done to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Randy Scannell is proposing a mask ordinance to keep people safe.

Talk to Green Bay Alderperson Randy Scannell and he’ll tell you many aren’t taking the coronavirus seriously.

“This is a health issue, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. I keep having to stress that, cause I think people are just behaving like it doesn’t exist,” said Scannell.

But he has no doubt and he has dire concerns that with one misstep, cases in our area could surge.

“It just takes a few to infect many and then we’re back to square one, where we’re probably shutting the city down again,” he said.

So Scannell wears a mask while in public and he wants others to do the same. It’s the reason he’s proposing a city ordinance requiring face masks during the pandemic.

“It’s basically to try to minimize the health risk when interacting with people,” Scannell said.

But implementing an ordinance and convincing people they need to comply could be difficult. That’s according to an attorney for the Wisconsin Counties Association.

“Whether a general masking requirement would be upheld as a valid exercise of authority in the interest of general health safety and welfare, that’s an open question,” said Attorney Andy Phillips.

Phillips says while an ordinance can be written, the question is will it stand up in court? And would efforts to convince people to wear masks be better served with more education.

“If everyone agrees that something is a best practice, how do we let the public know about that best practice and how do we get the public to buy in?,” Phillips said.

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich says it boils down to practicing what you preach.

“I’m wearing a mask when I’m out in public and inside. I was wearing a mask at the beginning of this interview and I’ll be putting it back on when I exit here,” said Genrich.

But Scannell says having an ordinance on the books would certainly help drive home the point.

“If we’re going to open up we’re going to take some risks. But I think we can minimize those risks greatly,” Scannell said.

Madison is enacting a face covering ordinance next Monday and one is being proposed in Milwaukee.

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