Require Door County, WI Visitors, Residents & Workers to Wear Face Masks in Public Places.
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The purpose of this petition is to request that the Door County Board of Supervisors pass an ordinance making it Required for ALL* Door County, WI Visitors, Residents & Workers to Wear Face Mask in ALL Public Places** for the protection and well-being of the population as a measure of compassionate caution.
As a community, Door County’s seasonal, part-time and full-time residents and workers are suffering as a result of stay-at-home orders and the restrictions placed on businesses. Though we understand the necessity of these measures to keep us safe, we support our economy and recognize the financial, emotional and psychological impact this has had on each of us.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends that, "Wisconsinites cancel or postpone all travel, including travel within the state. DHS does not recommend travel between your private homes within the state. For example, do not travel to seasonal homes or rental cabins. You may spread COVID-19 to areas with few doctors or hospitals. This is for your safety and well-being as well as the safety of our rural counties and tribal communities." (https://www.co.door.wi.gov/782/Coronavirus-Disease-COVID-19)
However, once they arrive and while a visitor or seasonal resident is here - if they do need medical treatment (for anything at all) - Door County's only hospital has just 25 beds and limited medical staff, who are already working tirelessly for the safety of Door County.
Community Spread of Covid-19 is already present and will further increase as the county prepares to open for our peak tourist season. Projections show a late or even second wave of infection hitting our population even with the precautions already in place as more people arrive in the county. According to the U.S. Census, 30% of Door County’s population is over 65 and at higher risk, making our community uniquely vulnerable. (https://www.co.door.wi.gov/)
We are proud of our community’s continued efforts to flatten the curve by staying at home and practicing social distancing, and support the essential businesses who are already implementing face mask requirements to protect their employees and those they serve.
WHY WEAR A MASK?
- According to The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, up to 80% of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 may be asymptomatic, and therefore may transmit the virus to others unknowingly. (https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/)
- The World Economic Forum COVID Action Platform says, "Masks have a compounding effect in that they both protect an individual from transmitting and being exposed to infection ..." (https://www.weforum.org/)
- The Center for Disease Control & Prevention, “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings ... to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others..." (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov)
(*ALL) However, note exceptions for those who cannot wear masks: "Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance." (https://www.cdc.gov/)
EFFECTIVE CLOTH FACE MASKS SHOULD:
Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; be secured with ties or ear loops; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction; and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.(https://www.cdc.gov/) And of course - make sure it covers the most vulnerable spots on your face: the nose and mouth. (https://www.today.com/style/how-wear-face-mask-correctly)
If you’d like to make your own mask, Johns Hopkins Medicine offers directions for a homemade mask, intended for use in non-patient care settings, or the CDC offers Sew and No Sew DIY Instructions for Cloth Face Coverings.
We recognize that some cloth face masks can be expensive, disposable masks can only be used so many times, and that not everyone will be able to make an effective mask at home. There are also some wonderful people here in the county sewing cloth masks, and local organizations, including Sew Masks for Door County, are working to make sure people know how to get them.
Therefore, we recommend that the County also assist in reopening for business by helping make affordable masks available for purchase and distribution throughout the county whether by purchasing and reselling Door County branded masks, and/or by coordinating with those making them in the community.
**WHAT ARE PUBLIC PLACES?
For the purposes of this petition, we recommend the definition of “Public Place” to be any location outside of your private vehicle or current residence (permanent, seasonal, or rental unit), where you are within 15 feet of other people who are not part of your single household or living unit.
- Because, according to USLegal.com, “A public place is generally an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not.” (https://definitions.uslegal.com/)
- And because, “new evidence suggests six feet of distance may not be enough [for safe social distancing],” due to the likelihood that SARS-CoV-2 is airborne, and that, “people could be infected simply by inhaling the virus in tiny aerosol droplets exhaled by someone talking or breathing ... In the case of a sneeze, droplets can travel up to eight meters (23 to 27 feet)." (https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19)
- And because, in an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine, scientists “analyzed the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 … [which] remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours) … results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days. (https://www.nejm.org/)
As a visitor, resident or worker of Door County, WI, by signing this Petition:
I pledge to wear a mask in all public places within Door County to protect the health and safety of our community. I pledge to wear a mask in support of essential workers and vulnerable community members, including those who, for health reasons, cannot wear a mask themselves.
Therefore, the purpose of this petition is to coalesce community support and to request that the Door County Board of Supervisors pass an ordinance making it Required for ALL Door County, WI Visitors, Residents & Workers to Wear Face Mask in ALL Public Places to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Door County, WI and to help protect our community, ourselves and each other.
“[Wearing Face Masks] could very well be the proverbial little hinge that swings the big door in this fight for humanity." (https://www.weforum.org/)
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