MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Thursday that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of reopening some parts of the state less affected by the coronavirus sooner than others, even though he worries about that approach leading to an outbreak.
Republican legislative leaders have been pushing for a regionalized reopening plan.
Rural parts of Wisconsin have seen far fewer cases of COVID-19 than more urban areas. Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, has seen the greatest number of deaths and positive cases.
Regionalization was one idea Evers discussed with Republican leaders on Monday.
“We didn’t come to any conclusions,” Evers said on WTMJ radio. He expressed concern about COVID-19 cases in rural areas being under counted because of a lack of testing.
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Bringing more people to those areas, particularly those that rely on tourism over the summer months, could lead to a spike in cases, he said.
“I never say never in this situation,” Evers said of regionalization. “There may be cases where we do it. I think we can do a lot of things, reopening, that are statewide and impact all counties at the same time.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is currently weighing a Republican-brought lawsuit that seeks to block the current “safer at home” order due to expire May 26 and take authority away from Evers’ administration to issue similar such orders going forward.
Evers said he hoped to not have to extend that order, which was originally slated to end on April 24, but the future of his powers now rests with the conservative-controlled court.