Masking up works

Dear Editor:

I am writing about something very close to my heart – the health and safety of Jefferson County residents.

The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has overturned the current public health emergency, which also ended the mask order that was in place to keep Wisconsinites safe. From a public health perspective, this decision is disappointing and endangers community members — but it does not need to change our own decisions about protecting our health and the health and safety of our community and those around us.

Since the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Jefferson County Health Department have followed the science, and we know many community members have done the same. The science is clear – masks work. Wearing a mask helps us to protect each other, our community, and everyone else in Wisconsin. Science shows that wearing a proper mask helps prevent transmission of the virus, and science also shows that the more people who wear them, the more effective they are at stopping the spread of COVID-19 at a population level. For more information on the science behind masks and the effectiveness of mask orders, there are links to research below.

After more than a year of dealing with COVID-19, I know people are tired and would like to go back to living without fear of the virus. We ask you to look ahead. A third of Jefferson County residents have received at least one dose of their vaccine, one million Wisconsin residents have completed their vaccine series, and all Wisconsinites aged 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, April 5. We are making great progress, but still have 70% of county residents who remain without protection from a vaccine.

Right now, mitigation measures like wearing a mask are more important than ever. We have seen a significant increase of about 40% in cases over the past several weeks, which means the virus is likely to spread even more if we do not take action to stop it right now. Help us protect your family and ours by wearing your mask whenever you are in public or around others.

Masking up works. Together, we can stop the spread.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience throughout this pandemic, and thank you for prioritizing the health and safety of the residents of Jefferson County and the rest of Wisconsin.

Gail Scott, BSN, RN

Health Officer / Director

Jefferson County Health Department

Load comments