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General Order Regarding COVID-19 Mask Policy

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

This order pertains to the United States Courthouse at 517 East Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and to the courtroom and clerk’s office space at 125 S. Jefferson Street in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities have advised entities to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and the use of face coverings or masks in public settings. The United States Courts—district, bankruptcy and appellate—are public and essential institutions committed to sound administration of equal justice under the law. Other agencies in the building—including the United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, the United States Pretrial Services and Probation Office, the United States Trustee, the United States Marshal Service, the Federal Protective Service, the General Services Administration, the Secret Service and the Social Security Administration—also are essential institutions of the government and the justice system. The court and the other agencies in the courthouse at 517 East Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee will continue to take reasonable and prudent actions to further that mission consistent with the health and safety needs of the public, court and agency staff, case participants and others who enter the courthouse.

Effective immediately, all persons seeking entry to or occupying the courthouse—including, but not limited to, court staff, security personnel, vendors, contractors, litigants, attorneys, jurors and other members of the public—must wear a face covering or mask in the public areas of the building. Public areas include the atrium/lobby, elevator banks, stairwells, restrooms, public corridors, clerk’s office counters and, unless excused by the presiding judge, courtrooms. Each individual agency or court unit will develop and enforce its own policy for wearing face coverings or masks within its internal space. A face covering or mask always must completely cover the wearer’s nose and mouth. The only persons excepted from this requirement are those who provide documentation that for medical reasons, they are unable to wear a face covering.

All persons seeking entry to the courthouse are strongly encouraged to bring their own face covering or mask. Persons who do not bring their own face coverings or masks may obtain a disposable mask at the screening security station while supplies last; supplies will be limited. Any person who declines or refuses to wear a face covering and does not have documentation showing that they are unable to do so for medical reasons will be denied entry to the building. Such persons may contact by telephone the agency or office they intended to visit to explore alternatives to entering the courthouse.

This order will remain in effect until further order of the court.

[Link to General Order]