All Wisconsin state employees, contractors and interns will now be required to wear face masks while indoors in state facilities, starting Thursday.
A message posted to the Division of Personnel Management's website Wednesday states employees who are unable to wear a mask should be directed to human resources for assistance. Reasons for an exemption may include a medical or mental health condition, disability or duties in which wearing a face covering would cause a health or safety risk.
According to DPM, the new requirement applies to:
- All indoor spaces including common spaces, stairwells, kitchenettes, hallways, corridors, restrooms, break rooms, elevators, cubicles, offices, and conference rooms regardless of the number of additional people present or physical space between individuals
- Times in which employees may be waiting in line to enter the building
- Occasions in which employees are visiting enclosed buildings, while on business for the state
Face coverings are also strongly recommended for people when outdoors on state-managed property when it is not possible to maintain six feet of social distancing, according to Wednesday's message.
The requirement comes as COVID-19 cases, including the delta variant, surge in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports the seven-day average number of daily cases reached 902 on Wednesday - the highest the average has been since early February.