RACINE — An ordinance requiring individuals to wear masks in public and at businesses, with some exceptions, in the City of Racine passed by one vote.
The ordinance is scheduled to take effect at 8 a.m. Monday, July 27 and remain in effect until the end of the year, unless it is extended or terminated by the City Council. Alderman John Tate II suggested amending the ordinance so Dottie-Kay Bowersox, the city's public health administrator, and the council will review the ordinance and the city's COVID-19 situation at its meeting on Oct. 20.
Aldermen Mary Land, John Tate II, Jen Levie, Natalia Taft and Jason Meekma had signed on as cosponsors to the mask requirement ordinance before the meeting, which meant they needed at least three more aldermen to vote in favor in order for it to pass.
After over two hours of discussion, the ordinance passed 8-7. Aldermen John Tate II, Jen Levie, Marcus West, Trevor Jung, Mary Land, Natalia Taft, Jason Meekma and Melissa Lemke voted in support of the ordinance. Aldermen Jeff Coe, Mollie Jones, Edwin Santiago, Jeffrey Peterson, Maurice Horton, Carrie Glenn and Henry Perez voted in opposition.
Racine County has the second-highest infection rate per capita in Wisconsin. Last week, in the Racine Health Department's jurisdiction, the percentage of tests that came back positive was 6% but according to Bowersox it has risen to 10% this week.
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