By Shereen Siewert

City of Wausau employees will be required to wear masks in all public buildings and spaces beginning Monday, Mayor Katie Rosenberg announced today.

The requirement applies to employees working in public spaces inside city buildings, not behind protective barriers, or who are working within six feet of another person for 15 minutes or more inside city facilities. Those spaces include public hallways, the council chamber, public meeting rooms, and public restrooms.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, COVID-19 cases have tripled over the last month alone.

“It’s past time those of us who serve the public take the lead on protecting each other and our community,” Rosenberg said in the release.

All city employees will be issued reusable cotton masks along with instructions on how to don, doff, store, and wash them. Employees may also wear their own cloth face masks, disposable 3- ply or KN95 masks.

The policy does not require face coverings for workers who are alone in their offices, behind protective barriers, those performing tasks outdoors, or work in vehicles alone.

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Marathon County Health Department all affirm that wearing a mask in public places will help stop the spread,” Rosenberg’s release stated. “President Trump has called wearing a mask patriotic. Governor Evers has said that there is no question that wearing a mask will quell the spread. This virus and this pandemic are not political and as city leaders, we need to set an example for the rest of the community.
It is my hope that wearing a mask now will combat the surge in cases, help our businesses get back to business as usual, and give students and teachers an opportunity to have a partially normal school year. None of this can happen unless we work together.”