Mandatory Mask Use in Neenah, WI

Mandatory Mask Use in Neenah, WI

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Celia Nalbach started this petition to Mayor of Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert and

Scientific studies predict and model that physical and social distancing practices alone will not be enough to mitigate or slow the spread of COVID-19.  One study published by authors with a diverse set of backgrounds from around the globe uses two simulation models to predict the outcome of the COVID-19 spread over the next several months based on mask wearing compliance in public [1].  The SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) model predicts that with social distancing as the only mitigation method after lockdown ends, 46.6% of the population will be infected with COVID-19 500 days after the initial outbreak.  This model also predicts that in a population the size of the UK (66.65 million), the estimated COVID-19 death toll after 500 days using only social distancing methods after lockdown ends could be as high as 1.16 million or 1.74% [1]. 

Fortunately, this model also predicts that if mask wearing compliance is at 80% among the population within 50 days of the initial outbreak, the predicted death toll and number of people infected drastically decreases to 0.09% and 2.5%, respectively [1]. 

A visual simulation and detailed explanation of the ABM (Agent-Based Model) simulation discussed in this study is available at

Although the state of Wisconsin is long past the 50 day mark assumed in this model, the surge of cases in Winnebago county began mid-May.  If the City of Neenah acts now to implement mandatory mask use while in public*, many lives could still be saved.  A study published on June 24, 2020 by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) suggests that as many as 543 deaths in Wisconsin could be avoided by October 1, 2020 if mask wearing compliance is at 95% [2]. 

Mandatory mask use is a more sustainable, effective, and practical method of COVID-19 spread and death mitigation than social distancing practices or lockdown enforcement.  In order to avoid the economic, social, and emotional devastation a second lockdown or stay at home order could cause, the City of Neenah should require that people wear masks in public places and maintain physical distancing until health professionals, scientists, and agencies and institutions such as the WHO and CDC say these practices are no longer needed.

The lives and economy of Wisconsin depend on mask wearing compliance.  Stay and be well, Neenah.


*Mandatory mask use while in public where the term "public" refers to:

  • Inside of or in line to enter any indoor public space
  • Obtaining in-person services from the healthcare sector (including but not limited to a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, blood bank, etc.)
  • Waiting for, riding in, or driving/operating any public transportation, paratransit, taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or off-site when:
    • Interacting in-person with any member of the public
    • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time
    • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others
    • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person's own household or residence) are present
  • Working in or walking through common areas such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities
  • While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible


1.     De Kai, Goldstein, Morgunov, Nangalia, & Rotkirch. (2020, April). Universal Masking is Urgent in the COVID-19 Pandemic: SEIR and Agent Based Models, Empirical Validation, Policy Recommendations.

2.     New IHME COVID-19 Model Projects Nearly 180,000 US Deaths. (2020, June 24). Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.


What further action can be taken after signing this petition?

Contact Mayor Dean Kaufert at 920-886-6104 or 

Contact your City Council Members.  Find out which City Council Members represent you at 

Feel free to use any content from this petition while contacting your officials. 


Not from Neenah, WI?  Create a similar petition for your city by using the template provided at:


Inspired by Jeff Bentoff and Reilly Koch, who started the petitions for mandatory mask use in the cities of Milwaukee and Madison, respectively.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!