Dane County mask order expiring March 1; officials cite decreasing COVID

Dane County and Madison public health officials said on Monday, Feb. 14 they will let its mask requirement for public indoor spaces to expire on March 1. Officials cite steadily decreasing COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations.

A news release Madison and Dane County Public Health says the seven-day average of cases peaked on Jan. 12 when 1,491 people were diagnosed with COVID-19. The seven-day average of hospitalizations peaked on January 15 with an average of 195 people hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Cases have fallen to a seven-day average of 340 cases, less than 25% of peak levels and are continuing to decline. Hospitalizations are also down substantially to a seven-day average of 110, which is 44% lower than the peak 7-day average of hospitalizations in January 2022 caused by Omicron.

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Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County, issued this statement:

"Letting the face covering order expire doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over. Rather, it signals that we have made it through the Omicron surge and are entering a new stage of the pandemic, The most important thing you can do now is to stay up-to-date on our vaccines as they have proven to be highly effective in protecting you from becoming severely ill, ending up in the hospital, or dying from COVID-19."

Dane County’s public health order expiration does not affect the federal requirement for face coverings on public transportation, including public transit networks, airplanes, buses and school buses, trains, taxis, Ubers and Lyfts.

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