Nichole Newton

Nichole Newton, a paramedic with Fitch-Rona EMS, completes a swab COVID-19 test on Thursday, June 25, at the Verona Fire Station.

People over the age of 5 in Dane County will be required to wear face coverings indoors, starting 8 a.m. Monday, July 13, unless they are at home.

The July 7 Public Health of Madison and Dane County order, will have to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth when in any building where the other people are not part of the same household.

This is the first requirement like this in the county, and is due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, according to the order.

The order applies to public transportation, businesses, health care settings and waiting in line to enter a building. The order also requires individuals to wear face coverings when in someone else’s home.

Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering are exempt from the order. Children who are between the ages of 2 and 4 are strongly encouraged to wear masks, and masks for those under the age of 2 are discouraged.

The order discourages people from policing other people who are not wearing masks.

“The following order should not be used as justification to harass or harm another person who is either wearing or not wearing a face covering. People should assume others have valid reasons for wearing or not wearing a face covering,” the release states.

The order allows people to remove their face masks in limited circumstances, which includes eating or drinking, communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, or a service that requires face mask removal, according to the order.

-Mackenzie Krumme