La Crosse area residents will still have to mask up at some places if Wisconsin mask mandate is repealed

President Biden signed an executive order last week mandating mask-wearing on federal property

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Wisconsin is likely to soon become a state without a mask mandate.

Our neighboring states, including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan all currently have their own mask mandates.

The Wisconsin State Senate voted Tuesday night in favor of repealing Governor Evers’ mask mandate.

“Frankly, I’m pissed. I’m pissed because my neighbors are dying.,” State Senator Chris Larson said Tuesday. “I’m pissed because I haven’t hugged my family in the last nine months.”

“It is undeniable orders from the state and local governments have been unprecedented limitations on individual freedoms,” State Senator Duey Stroebel said Tuesday.

Now the vote heads to the Republican-controlled State Assembly Thursday, where it will likely pass.

“Governor Evers’ mask mandate will fall when the resolution is passed by both chambers,” Stroebel said.

But that doesn’t mean you can go everywhere mask-less.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week requiring a mask be worn on federal property.

That includes La Crosse area post offices and airports. Masks are also required on planes, buses and trains.

Without a statewide mask mandate, it is up to the cities and counties to issue their own orders.

The La Crosse County Health Department has not said whether or not it will issue a county-wide mask order.

In a statement to News 8 Now, the department says, “We encourage people to continue wearing masks regardless of what happens with the state’s mandate…Wearing a mask in public protects your friends, neighbors, local businesses and our community.”

Without any order in the county, private and small businesses can create their own mask policy.

But the health department says most La Crosse businesses have been listening to its guidelines.

Madison resident Jason Landro says even when the mask mandate is gone, he will continue to wear a mask when he’s out and about.

“I believe it’s very, very important,” Landro said. “I believe that it’s the best way to prevent the spread of COVID. And just to keep everyone, including myself, and everyone around me safe.”

News 8 Now did contact Festival Foods and Kwik Trip to see if they are going to make any changes to their mask policies if the mandate is repealed.

In an update, Festival Foods sent News 8 Now the following statement on Friday: “Similar to other retailers, we will continue to enforce masks in our locations, both for our associates as well as guests, just as we are today. This decision was made with everyone’s health and safety top of mind as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. As always, we will continue to monitor and review our policy on masks on a regular basis.”

News 8 Now has not heard back from Kwik Trip.