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Masks will no longer be mandated inside City of Madison buildings. The Madison Mayor and City Council voted unanimously last Monday evening to lift the COVID restriction.

“We can encourage people to wear masks, but we won’t make them,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. “If any of our city employees feel unsafe, they can put their masks on, and encourage whoever is in their office to do the same, but we can’t make them.”

The council opted to leave the mask mandate for local businesses in effect, which was issued back in August. Businesses can opt out of the mandate by posting signage for customers that masks will not be required.

“There was no sunset on that, it’s technically still in effect,” said Ken Kocher, with the City of Madison.

The mandate is for businesses to require masks as long as COVID cases remain at 100 cases per 100,000 people or higher.

“Morgan County is still that high,” said Kocher.

“We can leave it. For the businesses who want masks, this will give them the backbone of the city with them,” said Perriman.

Councilman Eric Joyce asked the council to commit to no more event cancellations, in order to give local retailers confidence that upcoming holiday events sponsored by the city would go on as planned. But the council ultimately opted not to make that commitment.

“I think we need discretion there,” said Perriman. “Cases could soar high again. We should take it on an event by event basis.”

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