Mask mandate for Wisconsin state employees to be lifted March 1

MADISON, Wis. — With COVID-19 case counts dropping and local mask mandates expiring, the Wisconsin Department of Administration says most state employees will no longer be required to wear a mask starting March 1.

The weekly testing program for state employees is also being suspended effective March 13, according to an e-mail sent to employees Friday. The state’s vaccination status reporting requirements will remain in place.

The updated guidance from the state comes as case numbers have fallen to levels last seen during the summer of last year, before the Department of Administration reinstituted a mask mandate in early August. That mandate required a face covering inside state facilities or while employees were working indoors.

The mandate will still be in effect for state employees who work in congregate care settings — such as employees in the Department of Corrections, Health Services, and Veterans Affairs — until at least April 1. Other state employees not required to wear masks may still choose to do so.

More than 77% of state employees have completed the COVID-19 vaccination series, which combined with the fact COVID-19 tests are readily available also contributed to the state’s decision, according to the memo sent to employees.