Citing a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases this month, Governor Tony Evers today declared a new statewide public health emergency, which stays in effect for the next 60 days unless revoked by the Governor or by a joint resolution of the Wisconsin State Legislature. The action is Executive Order #82
. The declaration triggers certain state statutes granting the Governor special authority to issue orders that help protect the public.
The Governor simultaneously announced the first action under that authority: a statewide face coverings order
that will take effect on August 1 and last until September 28, 2020. The order, with certain exceptions, requires all individuals age five or older to wear a face covering when indoors or in an enclosed space, which the order defines as including outdoor bars and restaurants, public transit and taxis and outdoor park structures. The order notes that the statewide action supersedes any local face coverings order that is less restrictive. The order also discourages individuals from using N95 masks “and other medical grade supplies” as face coverings, so that limited supplies of important personal protective equipment can be conserved.
“For weeks now, WHA and a host of other organizations have been urging the public to wash hands, maintain social distancing and wear a mask when appropriate to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said. “We continue to urge the public to embrace these strategies.”