Rock County lifts mask mandate, effective immediately

Disposable Face Mask Shvets

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Rock County health officials have canceled the county’s mask mandate, effective immediately.

Rock County Health Officer Katrina Harwood said she made the decision because of new guidance from the CDC that says fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks in most indoor spaces. Harwood said people who aren’t fully vaccinated yet should still follow CDC guidance, which includes social distancing and wearing masks indoors and in crowded spaces.

“Now that more of our residents have been vaccinated, we are removing the mask order so that those people can take advantage of the benefits of being vaccinated. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they can,”  Harwood said. “We understand that many people still have questions and concerns, and that is normal. If you are unsure about whether the vaccine is right for you, please talk to your doctor.”

While the mask mandate has been lifted, Harwood said people, included those fully vaccinated, may still need to mask up in certain places like health care settings, schools, correction facilities and other places that have an increased risk of transmission. Businesses may also choose to keep mask requirements in place.

The School District of Janesville said in a news release that the district will continue to require masks while inside school buildings.

“Everyone at the School District of Janesville is working hard to deliver on the promise to provide an excellent education for all students — while adhering to health and safety protocols intended to benefit everyone,” said Steve Pophal, Superintendent. “We believe the continued use of masks in our schools through the end of the school year will go a long way to protect students, staff, and families.”

The federal mask requirement also requires people to wear masks on all forms of public transportation, including planes, buses and trains.

People who have waited two weeks after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are considered fully vaccinated.

“We are still all in this together and together, as more people become vaccinated, we can get back to regular activities,” Harwood said.