EAU CLAIRE COUNTY (WQOW) - If you are out in the public and inside, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department is now saying you should mask up.
Health officials cite "substantial" community transmission of COVID-19 cases in the county as the reason for the new guidance. The guidance piggybacks off of guidance from the CDC earlier in the week.
"Many people have gotten vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and our community from more
spread of this virus,” said Lieske Giese, Health Department director. “Unfortunately, having 50.9% fully
vaccinated was not enough to keep spread low. We now need to add another layer of prevention back for
everyone, and that is masks.”
On just Wednesday, Eau Claire County was at a moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission, and Giese said there were no plans at that time for a local mask order.
The health department now recommends everyone 2 and older where a mask. They make a special note that teachers, students, staff and visitors in K-12 schools "are expected" to wear a mask even if they have been vaccinated. Earlier this week, Eau Claire Superintendent Michael Johnson told News 18 the plan was still not to require masks for the upcoming school year.
He doubled down on that Friday, saying the plan is still for masks to be optional.
It should be noted, the guidance above from the health department is just a recommendation. Back in May, the mask ordinance was repealed in both the city of Eau Claire and the county.
According to data from the health department, the seven-day percent positive in Eau Claire County is 7.2%. It was 0.9% at the end of June.