Mask Mandates: What Businesses Still Have Them and What It Means For Places That Don’t


Izzy Zarinana-Mahnke, Staff Writer

On March 30, the state of Wisconsin’s mask mandate expired, allowing citizens to go without wearing a mask. Since then, more states have also lifted their mask mandates and the CDC is now allowing fully vaccinated people to not wear masks, indoors or outdoors.

Governor Tony Evers realized the state mandate was set to expire shortly, and moved to extend the mandate, however The Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked the decision and let the mandate expire. In a USA Today article written by Molly Beck, it states, “In a 4-3 decision, conservative justices in the majority declared the statewide mask mandate invalid and ruled Evers exceeded his authority in issuing multiple emergency declarations over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Evers used the emergency orders to require face coverings be worn indoors statewide after lawmakers opted not to.”

Although, as a state, Wisconsin has no mask mandate, some counties-as well as cities-have created their own. Cities such as Bayfield, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Milwaukee have a mask mandate. Even if the city still has no mask mandate, independent business and stores may still require you to wear a mask in order for them to service you.

According to an article in the Green Bay Press Gazette  some business owners do not particularly like being put in a situation where they have to enforce mask rules when there is no statewide mask mandate.“Business owners told the Green Bay Press-Gazette in January they do not like being left in the position to monitor other people. Business owners say they get no joy from limiting capacity or enforcing mask wearing. That’s one reason business groups supported a statewide rule, so that they are not left to make and enforce their own mandates.”

It is a well known fact that sometimes customers do not want to wear a mask, and will scream and yell at the employees. Some of these encounters have been recorded and passed around the internet, while others are simply in the form of wearing a mask improperly.

Right now there are a total of 25 states that do not have a statewide mask mandate(but could very well have mask mandates within that state), and 27 states that do have a mask mandate.

As of Thursday, May 13, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, it says, “The fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask while traveling by plane, bus or train, and the guidance doesn’t apply to certain places such as hospitals, nursing homes and prisons, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.”

However, some citizens feel that it is too soon for the CDC to allow this, and will continue to wear their mask, fully vaccinated or not. Others are also worried about the problems this creates, both for workers and everyday citizens. People are worried about putting blind faith in strangers, and hoping they are fully vaccinated and not just using the situation to forgo wearing a mask.