The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking seriously Gov. Tony Evers' order that everybody in the state must wear a mask while indoors. The department sent out an email to employees reminding them of the order, which took effect on August 1.
In addition to wearing masks while working at DNR facilities or in the field, Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole told employees they should also wear one while on video conference calls, even if they are home alone.
"Also, wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff," Cole wrote, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Set the safety example which shows you as a DNR public service employee care about the safety and health of others."
The agency said they want their employees to set an example to others and demonstrate how vital it is to wear a mask in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
"By wearing a mask while video conferencing with the general public, we visually remind folks that masking is an important part of navigating the business of natural resources during this tumultuous time," DNR spokeswoman Megan Sheridan told McClatchy News.
She also said that the agency is concerned that screen grabs of high-ranking employees not wearing masks could be misconstrued to insinuate that they are not following the governor's order.
"We ask staff to wear masks when on externally facing calls is that, taken out of context, a screenshot of a staff person or high ranking department official, if not properly attributed, could be misinterpreted to suggest that state employees are not properly following the Governor's directive," she said.
Photo: Getty Images