Face masks

Eau Claire city and county governments will consider a local face mask mandate in January that, if approved, would take effect if a similar statewide order ends.

EAU CLAIRE — Should a statewide mandate requiring people to wear face masks in public places be struck down or expire, local officials are considering adopting a policy that would reinstate it within Eau Claire County.

A joint news release sent Wednesday morning by the Eau Claire city and county governments said their governing bodies would consider a local mandate in January that would take over if the statewide order ends.

"Masks have been a proven methodology for limiting the spread of the virus; and experts are citing the need for continued vigilance as we begin the distribution of a vaccine," stated the news release issued by county Administrator Kathryn Schauf's office.

The proposed local ordinance would require individuals to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Businesses also would be required to post signs on their doors that require the use of masks in indoor spaces, according to the news release.

The city and county are currently soliciting input from businesses, schools, health care professionals and other community partners on the proposed legislation.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' mask mandate began Aug. 1 and is currently scheduled to expire on Jan. 19. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is weighing challenges brought by conservative groups that oppose Evers' order.