New mask mandate, same old mask mandate
Good morning, Madison!
By now you may or may not have heard that the city has officially extended its indoor mask mandate through Nov. 5.
Nothing in the mandate has changed, but here's a refresher: Everyone age 2 and older is required to wear a mask inside when other people who are not from their household are present — regardless of vaccination status.
COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin have grown by 14% in the last two weeks. While cases are down in Dane County, WPR reports that local public health officials say the disease is still widespread and urge people not to let their guards down, hence the renewed mask mandate.
So please, the next time you head into a salon, shop, or restaurant, be kind and civil to employees who ask you to put a mask on, they are quite simply following the law.
🗳️ Who's in and who's out of the races.
- State Sen. Lena Taylor, a Democrat from Milwaukee, announced her bid for Lieutenant Governor yesterday. Taylor was elected to Wisconsin's State Assembly in 2003 and then to the State Senate in 2005. Taylor is the first Democrat to enter the race. If elected, she would become the first woman of color to hold the office, Madison365 reports.
- State Sen. Brad Pfaff, D-Onalaska, is running to represent Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District. Pfaff will face Derrick Van Orden, R-Prairie du Chien, in what the La Crosse Tribune says will be "one of the most-watched House races in the 2022 midterms."
- Republican Ryan Owens has ended his bid for state attorney general. Owens recently faced criticism for "deleting podcasts he hosted as a University of Wisconsin-Madison law professor." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more on that story here.
🐺 The DNR has set a quota of 130 wolves for this year's hunt.
- In setting the quota at 130, the state agency went directly against the Natural Resources Board, which voted in August to set the quota at 300.
- If you'll recall, that August vote set off an initial uproar from many groups looking to protect the species. Following rules set by 19th-century treaties, with a quota of 130, hunters will be allowed to harvest 74 wolves, while 56 will be set aside for the Ojibwe tribes, who have chosen to protect their share in years past.
🖼️ The Wisconsin Historical Society has some big plans in the works.
- The Wisconsin Historical Society is moving forward with a plan to build a new $100 million museum on the capitol square.
- The 100,000 square foot project will be funded by the state and private donations. The Historical Society plans to tear down its existing building, along with two neighboring buildings on N. Carroll. The new building will more than double the museum’s current exhibition space.
- According to Channel 3000, the Wisconsin Historical Society is currently seeking proposals from architectural firms and hopes to open the new space in 2026.
A rendering shows what the new Wisconsin Historical Society museum could look like. Image via Tahleel Mohieldin's twitter.
✡️ UW-Madison professors are looking for ways to make sure class scheduling wont conflict with religious holidays (again).
- Some context: Jewish groups on campus noticed in late 2020 that the first day of fall classes at UW-Madison fell on Rosh Hashanah, aka the Jewish new year, aka one of the holiest holidays of the Jewish calendar.
- The UW-Madison Faculty Senate officially offered an apology Monday, and, according to the State Journal, said it is working on changing its calendar approval system so situations like this don't happen again.
🎒 Madison's heavily student-populated District 8 likely won't be slip up in the redistricting process.
- If you'll recall: Previously proposed aldermanic district maps toyed with the idea of splitting up the campus population among districts. This idea, however, was not well received and prompted immediate backlash.
- Madison’s redistricting committee approved a new aldermanic district map that will keep the UW-Madison campus in one district. The new map still needs to get approval from the full City Council.
🎸 Mickey’s Tavern is looking to bring back live shows, safely.
- The Willy Street bar reopened in August 2020 without live music after the pandemic shut down life as we knew it. Earlier this year, the bar started booking bands for its outdoor patio, bringing back some semblance of normalcy but still leaving a gap where their late-night indoor shows used to be. For now, show booker/bartender Liz Granby told Tone Madison that Mickey's will be holding off on brining back indoor shows for now out of an abundance of caution.
📚 Your lunchtime read: Wisconsin’s special ed system: High stress, sparse state funding.
- From Wisconsin Watch: Over the past five decades, state support for special ed has dwindled, and staff shortages and turnover make it difficult to provide required services."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 54%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 71.1%
Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
Are you eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna? Find out here.