Wisconsin state agency tells employees to wear masks during Zoom calls, even if home alone

State workers urged to set safety example for others

A Wisconsin state agency is reportedly mandating that its employees wear face masks during video conferences, even if they are home alone.

In a July 31 email, the Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole reminded employees that the governor's mask order, which requires anyone over the age of 4 to wear a face-covering while indoors, was to take effect Aug. 1, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

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“Also, wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff,” Cole said, according to the Sentinel. “Set the safety example which shows you as a DNR public service employee care about the safety and health of others.”

Under the Gov. Tony Evers' order, Wisconsinites are required to cover up when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit. Face coverings are also "strongly recommended" when people are outdoors and it's not possible to maintain physical distancing, according to a press release from the governor's office.

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There are exceptions to the rule, however, such as when someone is eating, drinking, or swimming. Furthermore, individuals with health conditions or disabilities that prevent them from being able to safely wear a mask or face covering are exempt.

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"We need to get back to working together statewide to flatten the curve and to prevent the spread of this virus," Evers said in July. "The most important thing you can do is serve as an example to those around you by wearing a mask or face covering, practicing physical distancing, and following best safety practices."

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