Dane County to Lift All Public Health Orders on June 2, 2021
Almost one year after Dane County implemented its first indoor mask mandate, residents will be able to leave the house mask-free if they choose. On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) announced that all Public Health Orders, including mask requirements, gathering limits, and capacity limits will be lifted following the expiration of the current order, Emergency Order #16. All orders will be lifted as of June 2, 2021.
The news comes just days after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can resume regular activities without a mask or physical distancing, with the exception of crowded spaces such as hospitals, busses, and planes. In response to the latest CDC guidance, large retailers such as Target, Costco, and Hyvee have announced that masks are no longer required for vaccinated patrons and workers, if there is no local order in place.
In recognition of the most recent CDC guidance, along with Dane County’s impressive vaccination rate and low number of daily cases, PHMDC will not issue any further Public Health Orders when the current Order expires. As of May 18, 63% of Dane County residents are at least partially vaccinated, and PHMDC estimates that 75% of the county will have at least received their first dose by June 2nd.
Unlike Rock County, which immediately repealed its county-wide mask mandate following the newest CDC guidance, PHMDC is allowing the current order to expire rather than immediately remove restrictions. This two-week window allows more time for people to receive vaccinations, especially individuals ages 12-15, who became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine on May 10. As of June 2, all of the requirements under current Order #16 will become recommendations. PHMDC also strongly recommends that school and youth settings continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, including requiring masks indoors.
Additionally, businesses and organizations may choose to enforce their own policies for customers and staff. PHMDC recommends that businesses encourage vaccination among staff members, consider reforming mask policies, and continue hygiene and cleaning policies. Moreover, the CDC has issued sector-specific guidance that businesses should review and implement.