Wisconsin Governor Orders Masks Statewide Amid Rising Viruses

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a state-wide mask mandate amid a surge in coronavirus cases, settling conflict with Republican legislative leaders who oppose such a requirement and successfully sued before to kill a order “safer at home”

MADISON, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a statewide mask mandate Thursday amid a surge in coronavirus cases, settling conflict with Republican legislative leaders who oppose such a requirement and successfully sued to kill to the governor “safer at home”. order.

Evers, a Democrat, declared a new public health emergency and ordered the use of masks for anyone ages 5 and older starting Saturday for all enclosed spaces except one person’s home. The new order also applies to open-air bars and restaurants, except when people eat or drink.

Anyone violating the order would be subject to a $ 200 fine. It is scheduled to run until September 28.

“This virus doesn’t care about the boundaries of any town, city or county, and we need a state approach to get Wisconsin back on track,” Evers said in a statement, citing the recent increase in cases across the state. “We have said all along that we are going to let science and public health experts be our guide in responding to this pandemic, and we know that masks and face covers will save lives.”

The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order from Evers’ health secretary in May that shut down most nonessential companies in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Republican State Senator Steve Nass, one of the most conservative members of the Legislature, asked lawmakers to meet in an emergency session to kill the order, which he called “illegal and unnecessary.”

Republican Assembly President Robin Vos said he opposes a state mandate, but indicated he would not sue to stop it as he did with the “safer at home” order.

“There certainly are constitutional questions here,” said Vos. “I would expect legal challenges from citizen groups.”

You did not say whether the Legislature would meet again to kill the order.

Evers has repeatedly cited the previous Supreme Court ruling as a reason for his reluctance to join 32 other states that have masking mandates. However, the May ruling found that the state secretary of health overstepped her authority with the “safer at home” order; the court did not address the governor’s power to issue public health emergencies.

The state’s superior court was controlled 5-2 by the conservatives when it overturned the previous order in a 4-3 split decision. But on Saturday, when the mask order goes into effect, judge-elect Jill Karofsky will join the court, reducing the conservative majority to 4-3 and increasing the odds that the order will survive a legal challenge.

Evers said the increase in COVID-19 cases, not the fact that Karofsky joined the court, and the fact that not enough people wore masks voluntarily motivated him to act now. Evers had been under pressure from local governments, and even some Democrats, to issue a state order. State Democratic Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee initiated a petition for a state mandate.

“The bottom line is that we need to keep people safe and this is one way to do it,” he said. “We hope that the Supreme Court agrees with us.” You never know, it may never end in the Supreme Court. “

In the absence of a statewide mask order, cities and counties across the state have been taking action on their own. Milwaukee and Dane counties, with the largest cities in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison, were the first to make the masks mandatory. Numerous other cities, including Green Bay, Racine, Superior, and Whitewater, have followed suit. Appleton this week recommended that people wear masks, but did not require it.

Evers’s order does not prevent local governments from enacting even stricter ordinances.

Wisconsin has had more than 52,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 919 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began. That death count is the 28th highest in the country and 35th highest per capita, with almost 16 deaths per 100,000 people. In the past two weeks, the average number of daily new cases has increased by 90, an increase of more than 11%.

The virus, while still highly concentrated in urban areas, is spreading to more rural counties that had largely prevented the disease.


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