On July 30, 2020, Governor Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency and issued an Emergency Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings when indoors, except in a private residence. This order covers not only public locations like bars, restaurants, and stores, but also business settings like production facilities and offices. This order goes into effect on August 1, 2020 and will continue through September 28, 2020.
Under the Order, Wisconsin residents ages five and older are required to wear a face covering when indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit. “Enclosed space” is defined as “a confined space open to the public where individuals congregate, including but not limited to outdoor bars, outdoor restaurants, taxis, public transit, ride-share vehicles, and outdoor park structures.” According to the FAQs, individuals are required to wear a face covering indoors, even if they are able to physically distance from other people at the time, unless they are the only person in the room or at a private residence. Also according to the FAQs, this Order applies to “businesses and office spaces.”
The order defines “face covering” as “a piece of cloth or other material that is worn to cover the nose and mouth completely.” The Order continues, “A ‘face covering’ includes but is not limited to a bandana, a cloth face mask, a disposable or paper mask, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering.” Finally, the Order states, “A ‘face covering’ does not include face shields, mesh masks, masks with holes or openings, or masks with vents.”
Per the FAQs, individuals do not need to wear a face covering if:
- You are at a private residence;
- You are outside; or
- You are indoors and no one else is present.
Finally, face coverings are permitted to be removed in the following situations:
- When you are eating or drinking.
- When you are communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.
- While sleeping (e.g., firefighters sleeping at a fire station).
- While swimming or being on duty as a life guard.
- When given a religious, political, media, educational, artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical presentation for an audience, so long as you have at least 6 feet between you and other individuals.
- When you are working if wearing a face covering poses a safety risk, as determined by government safety guidelines or regulations.
- When you need to temporarily remove your face covering to confirm your identity, such as entering a back, credit union, or other financial institution or when having to show you match your identification card when buying alcohol.
- When engaging in activities where federal or state law or regulations prohibit wearing a face covering.
Employers are not required, but, are highly encouraged to provide face coverings to individuals who enter the facility without a covering. This includes not only employees, but, visitors or other individuals appearing at and seeking access to the facility.
The Emergency Order can be found here and the FAQs can be found here.