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County responds to anti-mask rally claims

Marathon County Health Department public information offi cer Judy Burrows on Monday confirmed some assertions and countered others made during Sunday’s anti-mask rally held at IROW, Mosinee.

She took issue with a statement made by Dr. Simone Gold that masks were not effective in keeping the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading.

“The Centers for Disease Control, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and a number of other credible public health sources agree that masks are effective at reducing the spread of respiratory droplets and COVID,” Burrows said. “ In fact, face coverings in the form of surgical masks have been used for decades in health care settings for that reason.”

Burrows said the practical steps people can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are largely known. “If you don’t want to get COVID, or if you don’t’ want your loved ones to get COVID, there are a few things you can do: wear a face covering, practice six feet of social distancing, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick,” she said. “COVID-19 is a virus; it has no fear and no politics. “

Burrows confirmed that citizens will be able to contact her department to report businesses or organizations that do not comply with Gov. Evers’ face mask mandate.

“We will be updating our website to include an online form that residents can submit if they want to share information with us about the Order on Face Coverings in Certain Situations,” said Burrows. “People can also email us their questions from our website, or call us on weekdays during business hours.

As of Monday, the health department reports Marathon County has had 655 COVID-19 cases with 47 hospitalizations and nine deaths.