Public Health Madison & Dane County has been forced to admit that it does not have any data supporting its county-wide mask mandate, which it has extended into next month.
In December, a resident filed an open records request with the agency seeking any and all "data showing...prevention of COVID-19 in Dane County only from mask wearing...how many cases of COVID-19 were prevented from transmission in Dane County from mask wearing," and "data showing how many...cases [of] COVID-19 would exist in Dane County if there was no mask mandate."
On Thursday, Public Health Madison & Dane County responded, indicating that it had no such data.
"We made a diligent search for records responsive to your request within our agency," Public Health Supervisor Melanie Jicha said in an email. "There are no responsive records."
The Dane County Board rejected an effort to repeal the county's mask mandate early Friday morning in a 29-4 vote. The order has been extended several times over the past few months and it is expected that it will be extended again before it expires on February 1. It requires all persons aged two and older to wear masks in nearly all enclosed public spaces whenever other people are present.