Gov. Tony Evers declared a new public health emergency over an increase in college outbreaks. Evers also issued a new face-covering order.
Evers' previous mask order was set to expire at the end of the month. The new face-covering order and public health emergency will expire after 60 days.
Earlier this month, UW-Madison shifted all classes online after an outbreak of coronavirus on its campus. Two dorms were placed into quarantine.
“We continue to learn more about this virus, but what we do know is that we are facing a new and dangerous phase of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Wisconsin,” said Evers. “We are seeing an alarming increase in cases across our state, especially on campus. We need folks to start taking this seriously, and young people especially—please stay home as much as you are able, skip heading to the bars, and wear a mask whenever you go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together.”
“The current surge among young people is concerning, but it is important to remember that this increase in cases is not confined to college campuses,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Students come to these campuses from across the state, and we worry about the effect their return from an area with a high infection rate could have on their home communities. That is why it is imperative we take action to curb transmission now – to protect residents of Wisconsin in every corner of the state.”
With Tuesday's new face-covering order, Wisconsin residents ages five and older are required to wear a face-covering when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit.
The order is expected to expire on Nov. 21.
Rep. Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago) is calling on the state's assembly in overturning the mask order, stating "We need to stop Gov. Evers’ power grab and return our government to the rule of law."
State Senator Van. Wanggaard said that he was ready to vote to repeal the mask mandate.
"Instead of following the science and the data, Evers’ is once again continuing his 'one size fits all' approach to the virus, doubling down on a strategy that has proven ineffective for the age group driving the COVID-infection spike," said Wanggaard in a statement.
For Evers' order on face-coverings, read below:
For Evers' order on the public health emergency, read below:
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