Eau Claire City Council postpones vote on contagious disease ordinance

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A vote on a contagious disease ordinance is postponed by the Eau Claire City Council.

The ordinance would allow the Eau Claire City-County Health Department to enforce local health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, but tonight, by a nearly unanimous margin, the council chose to table the measure.

Councilmember Kate Beaton was the only vote against postponing the ordinance.

The ordinance would allow the Eau Claire City-County Health Department to enforce local health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would also add legislative oversight, meaning health orders would have to be approved by the city council and the county board before they could be enforced.

The delay will push a decision on the measure to no later than January 25th. It calls for making a task force to work more on the ordinance before it comes back for a council vote, but in the event of a health emergency, the council could discuss the ordinance sooner.

With colder weather soon coming to western Wisconsin, there is a concern from City-County Health Director Lieske Giese.

Giese said, “I am worried about the fall. We are likely with the respiratory disease typically hitting harder particularly in the fall and winter going to have increased disease and death in this community from COVID-19.”

The ordinance is currently scheduled to go before the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors next Thursday. For the ordinance to go into effect, the council and the county board would both have to pass its versions of the ordinance.

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