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RACINE COUNTY – In its weekly COVID-19 update released Monday, Racine County officials reported that the case rate has now pushed the county into a “high risk” category. Meanwhile, the City of Racine Common Council on Tuesday will consider a city ordinance that requires people to wear facial coverings starting July 27.

“Mirroring trends across the country, COVID-19 cases in Racine County have risen sharply in Jully, particularly among younger age groups,” the Racine County report stated. “We reiterate the urgent need to stay home if sick, not hold or attend large gatherings, wear a face covering, maintain social distance, and practice good hygiene.”

Racine County reported a confirmed 2,690 total confirmed COVID-19 cases since testing started in March. That was an increase of 305 cases since the July 13 report. Also, there were 370 probable COVID-19 cases and 32,798 negative tests. Racine County has now recorded 69 COVID-19 deaths, an increase of four deaths from the previous week.

Approximately 62 percent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Racine County were from communities under the jurisdiction of the City of Racine Health Department (the City of Racine, Village of Elmwood Park, and the Village of Wind Point).

That persistently high infection rate is cited by Racine Mayor Cory Mason’s office in a proposed mask ordinance. The ordinance calls for everyone over age 4 to wear a facial covering while in any indoor or outdoor public space or while riding on public transportation, taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle within the City of Racine. The ordinance would apply to all businesses, organizations, and non-profit entities. The ordinance does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customers or private visitors.

READ MORE: What you need to know about masks and testing

The proposed mask ordinance will be discussed by the Council’s Executive at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will be on the agenda for the Common Council meeting starting at 7 p.m.

The weekly Racine County COVID-19 update stated that “COVID-19 testing is a key part of boxing in the disease.” Testing at Ascension All Saints Health Care, Aurora Healthcare, and Froedtert Hospital are provided by appointment.

The next free, local community COVID-19 drive-through clinics, conducted the Wisconsin National Guard, are scheduled for Aug. 4-7 and Aug. 18-20 at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St., Racine.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Racine County officials will provide information about these and other future clinics as information becomes available.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...