State mask mandate goes into effect, with some backlash

Posted at 8:06 PM, Aug 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-01 21:07:00-04

WISCONSIN — On Saturday, Wisconsin became the 32nd state in the U.S. to have a mandate requiring residents to wear face coverings in public spaces.

Governor Tony Evers issued the mandate on Thursday. It requires anyone five-years-old or older to wear a face-covering while indoors or in enclosed outdoor spaces, like farmers markets, beer gardens and outdoor restaurants and bars.

Before the order, masks were only required at certain businesses and in communities that had passed local ordinances. Waukesha County wasn’t one of them.

At the Waukesha County Farmers Market Saturday, you could find more people wearing masks, including Anthony Goodings. He feels doing so, is a sign of respect.

“We have a right to free speech, but we also have a right to protect each other,” Goodings said.

For Patrick Farrell, it’s something he’s still trying to get used to. He left his mask in his car.

“I forgot to bring it with me,” Farrell said.

He's in favor of the ruling and hopes it will slow down the spread of COVID-19, but others feel differently.

Honks and cheers echoed across Brookfield, from a group of people protesting the mandate.

A woman named Whitney and a number of others gathered by Blue Mound and Moorland, just as the order went into effect.

“We’re not anti-masks. We’re not for masks. We are for choice,” Whitney said. “This is an infringement on our constitutional rights, so we need to stop it here.”

Now they’re seeking the help of state lawmakers.

“We're looking for the Republican senators to step up here and put their foot down,” Whitney said.

Back at the market, TMJ4 News caught a number of people who weren’t wearing masks or had them pulled down.

On Facebook, the market posted they’re continuing their policy that masks are “…recommended but not required,” citing county and city law enforcement who have shared they aren’t enforcing the mandate.

Goodings feels the more people that comply, the sooner we can get back to some normalcy.

“We’ll see what the bell curve does, hopefully, it starts to go down and we’ll all be better off for it,” Goodings said.

Under the mandate, there are a few exceptions. You don’t have to wear a mask if you’re eating or drinking, swimming, or have certain medical conditions.

If you violate the order, you could be fined up to $200.

The mandate is set to expire on Sept. 28, unless a new order is imposed.

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