Joe Parisi

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi

Dane County is extending its indoor masking mandate until Nov. 5, as the county remains in the “high” level of community transmission, according to the federal Centers of Disease Control and Preventions (CDC).

Public Health Madison and Dane County’s Face Covering Emergency Order #3 extends the existing face covering order requiring everyone age 2 and older wear a face covering or mask when in any enclosed building, where other people -- except for members of the person’s own household or living unit -- could be present.

According to a Monday, Oct. 4 PHMDC news release, the rate of county COVID-19 cases has risen rapidly since the Delta variant became dominant, with weekly case rates climbing from 22 per 100,000 people on July 19 to 209 on Sept. 19. That number had fallen to 157 per 100,000 people by Sept. 27, but the county remains in CDC’s high level of community transmission.

“As we've done all along with our layered mitigation approach, we'll keep masks as an extra layer of protection as we navigate our way to lower levels of CDC's community transmission thresholds,” said PHMDC director Janel Heinrich in the news release.

Recently, a large, randomized trial led by researchers at Stanford Medicine and Yale University found that wearing a surgical mask over the mouth and nose is an effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in community settings, according to the news release. Additionally, two recent studies released by the CDC show mask requirements this school year have been associated with less pediatric COVID cases and less outbreaks in schools.

According to the news release, 84.9% of the county’s eligible population have received at least one dose of vaccine -- 73.6% of the total population.

“We know that vaccination remains our best pathway out of this pandemic and currently tens of thousands of our residents are still unvaccinated and unprotected from severe outcomes of COVID-19,“ said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

For more information about the COVID-19 in Dane County and the latest public health order, visit, or follow @publichealthmdc on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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