LCHD continues to recommend wearing face coverings
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) in a Monday, May 10 release encouraged individuals to continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for anyone ages two (2) and older to wear a face covering or mask when in indoor public settings.
“Science shows masks work,” LCHD stated. “Face masks continue to be an effective tool in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and are more effective when more people wear them.”
LCHD said face masks are still needed due to “an increased circulation of COVID-19 variants in Wisconsin.”
“As of May 5, Lincoln County has a ‘high’ COVID-19 disease activity level,” LCHD said. “COVID-19 variants are likely contributing to this high level of COVID-19 cases.”
LCHD noted that a majority of Lincoln County residents are not fully vaccinated. As of May 10, 9,445 county residents (34.2%) had been fully vaccinated.
LCHD also provided mask wearing recommendations for those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as for those who have not.
For fully vaccinated individuals, LCHD said wearing a face covering is not necessary in the following scenarios:
- Outdoor activities and small gatherings with both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, except for crowded outdoor events, like parades, sporting events and concerts.
- Indoors in private settings with other fully vaccinated people.
- Indoors in private settings with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are low risk for severe COVID-19.
LCHD said masks are not necessary for unvaccinated individuals in the following scenarios:
- Outdoor activities with members of your household and if you can physically distance six feet apart from non-household members.
- Small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.
“The fit of your face mask is important and can impact effectiveness,” LCHD stated. “Choose a mask with a nose wire and fit it around your face. This prevents air from coming out the top of your mask. Add layers of material by choosing a cloth mask with multiple layers of fabric, or by wearing a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. This can help your mask fit more snuggly.”
LCHD said that although “significant strides” have been made in preventing and stopping COVID-19 in local communities, the public must “remain diligent.”
“If we want to continue to see low case counts, hospitalizations and death totals we must continue to follow the preventative measures that we know to be effective,” LCHD stated. “Face masks, handwashing, physical distancing and vaccination are efforts that work best when practiced together.”