Wisconsin enters first day of mandatory mask policy

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – Saturday marked the first day of Wisconsin’s mask mandate for those over the age of five. While some counties, like Dane, already had mandates in place, Saturday was the first day of mandatory masks for many.

For some visitors to the Wisconsin Dells, it’s been frustrating to get used to.

“The reason why we’ve been vacationing here is because things hadn’t been as strict with the mask mandate,” said Lorri Elder, an Illinois resident who traveled to the Dells with her husband Marc. “We were scheduled to come here and it’s like, ‘guess what’.”

While Sheriff’s Offices in both Columbia and Adams county have said they will not be enforcing the mandate’s $200 penalty, stores in the downtown area of the Dells are still asking customers to wear their masks.

“Most of the people, a lot, the majority, are wearing them,” said Maria Rosholt, owner of Thompson’s Full Bloom. “I guess I don’t really hear of anything where people have a problem with it. There are some people who aren’t wearing them, but what are we going to do?”

Rosholt says most summers, 80 to 90 percent of their customers are from out of town. With less traveling to the Dells due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business has taken a hit.

“It’s been hard,” she said.

For travelers who have grown used to the Dells being a safe haven from Coronavirus restrictions, the mask policy isn’t welcomed news.

“it just really doesn’t seem the same having to wear a mask all the time,” said Keith Hermanson, who was visiting from out of state.  “I just don’t really see why we have to do it.”