Rock County health officials ‘strongly recommend’ mask wearing

JANESVILLE, Wis. – Officials in the Rock County Public Health Department are “strongly recommending” everyone wear a mask both indoors and outdoors unless only with family.

In a memo released Friday, health officials say positive tests in Rock County increased 60% from the week prior. In the memo, health officials detail that COVID-19 is primarily spread through droplets, which a mask can prevent from spreading.

While Dane County’s mandatory mask policy will go into effect Monday, Rock County does not have a mandate currently. Still, some private businesses are requiring masks to be worn by all customers and staff.

“I was more surprised that I hadn’t done it sooner,” said Jackie Gennett, co-owner of Bushel and Peck’s in Beloit.  :I probably should have done it sooner. It just makes sense to do it.”

Bushel and Peck’s began its mask mandate on June 30. Since then, Gennett says the store has seen next to no issues with compliance.

“The people who don’t want to wear masks aren’t going to come into the store and cause any problems,” she said. “So that eliminates us having people be angry with us.”

The Rock County Public Health Department says while masks are not a substitute for social distancing and other preventative measures, wearing a mask could reduce your chances of spreading or catching Coronavirus.

Beloit has seen the biggest percentage of Rock County positive Coronavirus cases, totaling nearly half of the county’s cases overall.

Gennett says because of this, she and her employees will continue to wear masks.

“You may not like wearing a mask,” she said. “I know I don’t like wearing a mask. No one likes wearing a mask. But once you realize that you have to do it to get past this, it’s not that hard to put a mask on.”