Is it working? One month in, a look at how Dane County’s mask order is impacting the number of covid cases

Many Face Masks

MADISON, Wis. — August 13th marks one month to the day since Dane County’s mask requirement took effect. So how have things changed since then?

In that time, the county went from averaging 98 positive tests a day to just 50, according to data published weekly by Public Health Madison & Dane County.  That still puts the county at a “high activity level,” although the number of cases has been effectively cut in half.

When the order first went into place in July, 50% of all county cases were found in young adults between 20 and 30 years old. This week, that age group still makes up the largest percentage of cases (30), although there has been a notable increase in the number of teenagers contracting the virus, up from 9% to 18%.

Now for the good news: the percentage of people testing positive has dropped significantly, by two-thirds. Public Health officials report 5.5% of people tested positive the week the order took effect. That number has dropped to 1.9% today, well below the desired threshold of three percent.

The number of people being tested is also up: to an average of 2,400 a day, from less than 1,800 a month ago.

Click here for the county’s most recent coronavirus report, updated weekly.

Click here to access the interactive data dashboard, updated daily.