Sawyer County Public Health Officer Julia Lyons is asking county residents and visitors to “Don’t put away your masks, please” in response to the March 31 ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court which struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ face mask mandate.
“We are vaccinating our population as quickly as possible, but we’re not to herd immunity quite yet,” Lyons said.
“Today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling struck down the statewide mask mandate, but it is still prudent to wear a mask while in close proximity to others,” Lyons said. “It is a good idea for businesses to also continue to require masking.”
The Sawyer County Health Department recommends that people wear masks in public spaces to slow the spread of COVID. “If we let our guard down now and COVID continues to spread, it naturally mutates and may lead to variant strains that our current vaccines cannot prevent,” Lyons said.
Currently 32 percent of Sawyer County residents have received at least one vaccine dose. “By next week anyone age 16 and older will be eligible to receive vaccine. We ask for patience and to hold tight and use those masks through the end of May so that we can get many more people fully vaccinated,” Lyons said.
“Despite our vaccination efforts, COVID cases are rising again in our town and neighboring counties,” Lyons said. “Michigan and many counties in Minnesota and Iowa are also seeing high spread. This is attributed to he new variant strains that spread more readily. With the new strains, natural immunity may not prevent a second COVID illness, so please continue to be cautious.”