In the wake of the statewide mask mandate being no longer, St. Croix County is the latest in local governments who are making their own statement regarding the wearing of masks.
In an April 7 release from Adam Kastonek, the county’s Public Information Officer, it was relayed St. Croix County Public Health has issued a Mask Advisory effective until June 6.
Public Health recommends wearing masks as an important tool to fight this virus. The county said currently they are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and a high level of community transmission in the county. In March, the county also reported its first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7. This variant is spreading throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota and researchers believe it may be associated with increased risk of death compared to other variants.
“We know that masks work to help slow the spread of COVID-19. With the increase of cases and new variants in our community and surrounding areas, it is important for everyone to follow the recommendations in this advisory to keep the people of our communities safe” said Kelli Engen, St. Croix County Health Officer.
Masks act as a simple barrier that help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. When you breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze you are releasing respiratory droplets that can spread the virus. Under the Mask Advisory, Public Health recommends every individual, age five and older, in St. Croix County wear a face mask if:
• The individual is indoors, other than at a private residence; and;
• Another person or persons who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space.
The County said face masks are strongly recommended in all other public settings, including outdoors when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing. There are exceptions to the advisory which can be found on the St. Croix County website.
In addition to the Mask Advisory, Public Health has updated the Health Advisory on the St. Croix County website to include guidance for individuals, gatherings, and establishments based on the current COVID-19 risk level in St. Croix County. The risk levels range from low to very high and are determined by the COVID-19 case activity in St. Croix County. St. Croix County encourages all residents of the county to follow this guidance for their safety and the safety of their families and neighbors.
St. Croix County has also added a new free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Hudson.
The County is partnering with the Wisconsin Army National Guard on the project. Testing will be administered by the Wisconsin Army National Guard at the St. Croix County Highway Shop in Hudson from April 15 through May 27. The site will be open Thursdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
Testing at this location is available for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. The tests are free and no insurance is needed. All individuals receiving a test will remain in their vehicle. Although appointments are not required, they recommend pre-registering to speed up the testing process. You can pre-register at register.covidconnect.wi.gov/. A parent or guardian must be present to consent for testing minors between the ages of 5 to 17.
St. Croix County would like to remind that with recent increases in COVID-19 cases in the county and variants spreading throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, testing is even more important. If you are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has or recently had COVID-19, please use the testing resources available to you. Testing informs us if we have the virus and to take the proper safety measures to take care of ourselves and avoid spreading it to others.
Testing Location and Times
All testing is done during the following dates from 9 am to 2 pm.
St. Croix County Highway Shop - Hudson
666 US Highway 12 Hudson, WI 54016
• Thursday, April 15
• Thursday, April 22
• Thursday, April 29
• Thursday, May 6
• Thursday, May 13
• Thursday, May 20
• Thursday, May 27
Where can I find more information?
Additional testing sites are available in the region. You can find more information about COVID-19 and testing on the St. Croix County website.