Northeast Wisconsin cities, counties activate local mask ordinances after Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling

Posted at 2:52 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 19:15:09-04

OSHKOSH, Wis. (NBC 26) -- After Wisconsin's Supreme Court struck down the state's mask mandate on Wednesday morning, cities across the Northeast region are putting their own local ordinances into effect.

The City of Oshkosh announced its citywide face covering mandate is now activated until April 30. The plan was originally approved at a March 9 city council meeting.

"At the local level, our city council is our legislative body," Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff said. "And they've made loud and clear that they would like this... We've seen a little uptick in [COVID] numbers in our general area in recent days, so I think that's why we want to keep asking people to continue to wear their masks."

De Pere Mayor James Boyd told NBC 26 his city "automatically" switched on its own mask ordinance when the statewide mandate was reversed on Wednesday. He says the face covering rules will continue to apply until the city ends its declared state of emergency.

Green Bay had an active masking ordinance that ended Wednesday. District 3 Alder Lynn Gerlach told NBC 26 the city will call the Common Council together tomorrow to discuss a mandate extension.

These local ordinances give leeway to those eating or drinking.

Local healthcare leaders advise the Northeast Wisconsin community to wear a mask without the state's mandate.

"Regardless of whether there’s a mandate locally, state, nationally, whatever would happen, it doesn’t matter," Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske said. "My message is the same. We know that masking works."

Brown County Public Health (BCPH) also issued a health advisory asking people over the age of five to wear masks. Brown County Public Health said the advisory is not an order or mandate, as BCPH cannot currently issue an enforceable mask order without authority from the County Board being provided in the form of an Ordinance.

Additionally, the Oneida Nation also has a mask mandate that lasts until May 12.

Outagamie County Public Health Officer/Manager, Natalie Vandeveld, will be issuing a Local Public Health Order on Thursday, April 1 requiring face coverings in portions of Outagamie County that fall within the Jurisdiction of Outagamie County Public Health. The order will take effect immediately in all areas of Outagamie County except the City of Appleton and the Oneida Nation, which have their own public health agencies.

Under the order, Outagamie County says everyone aged five years or older will be required to wear a face covering when indoors or in enclosed spaces and around people who are not household members, with some limited exceptions.

The city of Menasha says face coverings will continue to be required for visitors in city buildings including: City Hall, Elisha D. Smith Public Library, Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue stations, and Menasha Utilities until further notice.