People weigh in on Eau Claire County mask mandate following new CDC guidelines

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – In Eau Claire city and county, a mask mandate remains in place despite the new guidelines from the CDC saying fully vaccinated people can ditch the mask in most circumstances. Eau Claire City Council and the county board will meet early this week to discuss whether or not to keep it in place.

First News at Nine’s Max Cotton spoke with people about whether Eau Claire County should ditch its mask mandate.

The CDC says fully vaccinated people don’t need to mask-up in most settings two weeks after they complete their COVID-19 vaccine series.

Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese says the announcement is just another step towards returning to our pre-pandemic lives.

“Vaccinated individuals can really return to life, as usual, is a step on that journey and we’re really excited about that,” said Giese.

But the agency’s announcement doesn’t mean people in Eau Claire County can take off their masks yet. Both city council and county board members have to pass legislation repealing the current mask mandate ordinance, which isn’t set to expire until June 30th.

Eau Claire resident Eric Larsen thinks it’s time for the mandate to go.

“I think we should. There’s no reason to extend it beyond what our national health experts recommend,” said Larsen.

Larsen says he trusts the scientists, adding he was in support of the mask mandate prior to the CDC’s recent announcement.

Larsen said, “I believe them. When they tell me that I’m safe to be without a mask and that those around me won’t get sick because I’m carrying something, then I believe that.

UW-Eau Claire student Joaquin Nafstad agrees with Larsen. It’s time for the mask mandate to go. However, he believes ditching the mandate shouldn’t prevent private establishments from requiring people to mask up.

Nafstad said, “If the CDC and other agencies recommend getting rid of the mandate, I would be perfectly fine with removing the mandate. However, if individual businesses want to require masks, such as like hospitals or other private businesses, I feel like if they want to require masks, then they could still require it.”

A majority of the people who I spoke with did agree, it’s time for the mask mandate to go. However, some feel it’s too soon for the council members to ditch it just yet.

In Eau Claire, Max Cotton, First News at Nine.

The Eau Claire City Council’s meeting begins at 4 pm Tuesday. The Eau Claire County Board’s meeting begins that night at 7:00.

We will keep you updated on what’s decided.

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