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Eau Claire County ’Strongly Recommends’ Use of Face Masks, But Won’t Require Them

new public health order also encourages public gatherings of 50 or fewer people

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth

A drive-through COVID-19 testing event in Eau Claire in May.
A drive-through COVID-19 testing event in Eau Claire in May.

A new public health order issued by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department on July 8 strongly recommends the use of cloth face masks but will not require them, as is the case in Dane County. The order also encourages a limit of 50 or fewer people at public gatherings but still permits gatherings of 150 people or fewer indoors and 250 people or fewer outdoors.

Here are some details outlined in a media release: 

  • The order is effective beginning at midnight on July 9 and includes the following changes to the June 25 order:
  • Requires businesses (such as restaurants, bars, and movie theaters – or any place where people can assemble in large groups) to reduce occupancy to 50% of posted occupancy.
  • Requires that all self-service food and drink operations will cease, including self-dispensing of unpackaged food.
  • Encourages the use of technology to avoid person-to-person contact, such as online, delivery, or curbside pickup options.
  • Encourages, but does not require, the use of cloth face masks.
  • Encourages, but does not require, a limit of 50 people or fewer in public gatherings.

A day earlier, the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce also asked businesses and members of the public to voluntarily wear masks to protect each others’ health.

According to the health department, Eau Claire County has has 307 positive COVID-19 cases, and 235 of those individuals have recovered.

In the state of Wisconsin, there have been 33,154 confirmed cases – an increase of almost 600 between July 7 and July 8. There are currently 807 confirmed deaths due to COVID-related illness, and an increase of 44 hospitalizations from July 7 to July 8.  

The full county order is available here.