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Wisconsin health department, business owner, sheriffs respond to mask mandate

Violators could face a $200 fine
The Wisconsin sign on the U.P. border.
The Wisconsin sign on the U.P. border.(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 4:39 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, Wisc. (WLUC) -Just across the U.P. border, Wisconsin is the latest state to implement a mask mandate. Thursday afternoon, Governor Evers issued a statewide mask mandate amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

“This public health order takes effect tomorrow. I think we’re in early stages of what that will look like, locally and state-wide,” said the Florence County health officer, Anette Seibold.

The mask orders mandates anyone ages 5 and up, to wear a mask for all enclosed spaces except a person’s home. The new order also applies to outdoor bars and restaurants, except when people are eating or drinking.

Seven1Five Outpost, a local ice cream and tourist shop in the area, says recently, there has been a mix of people wearing masks.

“Generational. The older generation will come in and wear their mask,” said a co-owner of Seven1Five Outpost, Becky Moran.

Moran says many tourists have also worn masks inside as well. The outpost does plan to have all employees mask up beginning tomorrow, and are working to have their customers obey the rules as well.

“We want to be able to provide a safe location for this community,” said Moran.

Violators could face a $200 fine, but the Florence County Sheriff’s Office says they will not enforce this mandate. In a Facebook post Thursday night, Sheriff Dan Miller said his office is not the mask police. The Iron County Sheriffs Office out of Wisconsin posted their press release on Facebook, stating, “The Iron County Sheriff’s Office will not be responding to complaints of individuals violating the governors order. Nor will it be taking any direct law enforcement action.”

Both the Forest County Sheriffs Office and the Vilas County Sheriffs Office took to their Facebook pages, to post similar thoughts, saying they will not enforce as well.

But, the Florence County health department says they have a history of working well with the community.

“We’ll continue to do that, with the best interest of the community,” said Seibold.

Currently Florence County has 6 reported positive cases, and Seibold hopes with compliance, the number will stay down.

“We, in public health, really want to focus on encouraging voluntarily compliance. That is really our goal,” she said.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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