Racine approves changes to mask ordinance in 12-1 vote

Updated: 7:54 p.m. on April 19, 2021

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- By a 12-1 vote by council members Monday night, the city of Racine approved several changes to its mask ordinance.

Among the changes, masks will be required in government facilities, institutions of higher education, public and private kindergarten through 12th grade schools and licensed child care or youth facilities.

Also, bandanas, scarves and gaiters are no longer considered a face covering.

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Posted: 1:07 p.m. on April 16, 2021

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Keep your mask on. That’s what the city of Racine will be asked to put on paper after the statewide mask mandate was abolished.


It’s the public health administrator who says an update to the mask ordinance is necessary. CBS 58 stopped random people going in and out of businesses in the city – they seem to agree.

Racine’s public health administrator wants aldermen to update the city policy since the Supreme Court eliminated the statewide mandate.

“It’s not gonna last forever. The masks will go away at some point and I think for now, it’s the right thing to do,” said Adam Olson of Racine.

“If somebody give me something, I don’t want to give it to somebody else. But I respect the ordinances and I’ll wear it,” said Racine resident Paul Tobias.

At Toad Hall, mask-wearing is serious business, but as you walk in, the signs they’ve posted on the door are for the fun of it.

“We decided to put a sign on that said if you were not wearing a mask, do not open this store. That worked a little better, but then now we have a more poignant sign on the inside door which our customers usually laugh at,” said Corey Szary, co-owner.

Masks will be required in government facilities, schools and licensed child care facilities. One preschool noted things have changed with the masks.

“Definitely in our 3K program we have had very, very few absences this winter,” said Carla Abel of Prince of Peace Preschool and Childcare in Racine.

As for older children, Racine Unified returned to in-person learning this week. Students are adjusting.

“You have to speak up because most times people just like say 'what' or something and then you have to speak up. It’s just annoying. I don’t like it at all,” said Julian Cortez, 8th grader at Racine Unified.

“As long as everyone's 6-feet and they're spreaded apart. Our teachers make us go like this in line, like to make sure we’re all spreaded apart," said Nora Wiedholz, 3rd grader.

Racine Unified says their health plan with the city requires the wearing of masks and social distancing and they “will continue to monitor the latest guidance from the health department."

“I think it’s safe wearing a mask and I think this whole city should wear a mask,” said Wiedholz.

Another proposed change: bandanas, scarves and gaiters would no longer be considered face coverings.

The proposal goes to the Racine Common Council on Monday, April 19.

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