GERMANTOWN, Wis. – While some cities continue to have mask mandates in place, one Wisconsin county is doing away with all COVID-19 restrictions.
Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann announced the county is ready for a full return to normal. Any statewide rules will not be enforced.
The decision means each business in Washington County can decide for itself if masks need to be worn. In the heart of Germantown, Main Street is now free from COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’ve got 70% of our 65 and older population vaccinated. Everybody knows the CDC guidance at this point. Hospitals are in really good shape. At this point I think people just need to follow their conscience and do what they think they need to do,” Schoemann said.
Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann
Friday, March 19 was declared “Eat Local Day” to encourage people to come back out. Chaz Hastings welcomes customers to Jerry’s Old Town Inn — a mask no longer part of his uniform.
“I would say 9 out of 10 people that are coming into our restaurant are more comfortable without the mask,” Hastings said.
Once customer flicked his mask to the ground when learning the news of lifted restrictions. While masks are still recommended by the CDC, Hastings said people in Germantown need the sense of normalcy.
“We’ve had a lot of emotional conversations with people that have been on the brink at times with this whole thing,” Hastings said. “I think that a tavern or restaurant that has a good vibe to it really can be a safe space for people.”
FOX6 News reached out to the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department for its reaction to the county executive’s announcement but has not heard back.