Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources is requiring employees to wear masks during Zoom calls, even if they’re alone in their own homes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on Monday.
State health orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers (D) call for masks to be worn indoors, but private homes are exempt and there’s no scientific rationale for wearing one when no one else is around. Nonetheless, the agency wants staff to set an example and provide a visual reminder about the importance of mask-wearing, spokeswoman Megan Sheridan told McClatchy News.
She added that staff are also asked to wear masks during video calls with members of the public because screen shots could be “taken out of context” and “misinterpreted to suggest that state employees are not properly following the Governor’s directive.”
Republican lawmakers, who have a majority in Wisconsin’s legislature, are weighing whether they should overturn Evers’s statewide mask mandate, the Journal Sentinel reported. One member of the state GOP, Joe Sanfelippo, told the paper that he agreed that masks should be worn in public but found it absurd that state workers would have to put them on for virtual meetings.
“I’m more inclined to support things that actually do help as opposed to just putting on an appearance of helping,” he said.