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PHMDC leaving mask decision to individual businesses

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MADISON (WKOW) -- At Metcalfe's, news that Public Health Madison and Dane County will let its public health orders expire did not entirely come as much surprise, as the vaccination rates in Dane County are so high and cases are so low.

But change won't come immediately.

"Right now, OSHA's regulations are that everyone should be wearing masks if you're indoors, so we're following those recommendations," Tim Metcalfe, owner, said.

But with two weeks left on the timeline, he fully expects them to align with CDC recommendations.

That's part of the reason why PHMDC didn't make the change immediate.

"The way that the CDC has kind of rolled out this science has created a little bit of confusion," PHMDC director Janel Heinrich said at a press conference Tuesday. "It allows us some more time to get our heads wrapped around the science of being so confident in the vaccine."

If given the final okay from OSHA, Metcalfe says they're working on their post mask mandate plans.

"Probably on June second, we'll go to a 'If you've been vaccinated, you won't have to wear a mask but if you haven't you should wear a mask'," he said.

While they'll just have to take customers at their word, employees will need to prove they're fully vaccinated before going maskless.

With so many people either unable or unwilling to get vaccinated, Metcalfe says people will just have to be respectful.

"I think Joe Parisi said it best, there was a beginning of this pandemic, a middle and an end to this pandemic, and we're getting very close to the end and we should finish all together," he said.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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