On Monday, Green Bay public officials will begin to consider a mask mandate as the COVID 19 numbers in Wisconsin continue to rise, following a trend we’re seeing across the United States as more testing is conducted. (story HERE)
They should wait for the order to come from Madison. Here’s why.
Inconsistencies from area to area: Much like the confusion during the shutdowns regarding the way businesses could operate and conditions involving safety at other venues, Green Bay going solo on face masks would only add to this confusion. We’re also returning to a checkerboard pattern where some municipalities are enforcing masks and some aren’t.
Difficulties enforcing a mandate: Green Bay police are already facing serious challenges this year as they continue to try and nurture an open and safety oriented relationship with the community, following the events in Minneapolis. This mandate pushes a more aggressive stance where there are no certain conditions regarding it’s enforcement and takes the focus off of improving community policing.
Uncertain support in the community: The wear of masks is up in the community. That’s obvious being out in public here in the area. The City Council would once again send a message to their constituents that they can’t be trusted.
A state mandate following a local ordinance would cause even more confusion: If Green Bay enacts an ordinance with one framework and the state issues another mandate with different conditions, then we would have more conflicts and miscommunication than we would if we just waited for one uniform list of guidlines.
We’re not certain it would be legal: There is a reason that there isn’t already a mandate in place. It’s because there would be legal challenges. We also can’t forget Brown County rescinded their stay at home order earlier this summer because of legal concerns (story HERE). A second failed push for enforcement would not only look bad, it would raise some serious questions regarding the entire thought process in which these regulations are constructed.
Listen. If you’re out and about in a crowded area, you should where a mask. But before local leaders once again push down mandates on this community’s families, we need to make sure there isn’t a mechanism at the state level that could do it better. If it’s even needed at all.