Gov. Evers extends mask mandate, declares public health emergency
Star Journal Report
Gov. Tony Evers has issued a new Public Health Emergency and extended the mask mandate for 60 days. Citing the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, especially among young people, Evers issued Executive Order 90 and Emergency Order 1 this morning. With today’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.
“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,” Evers stated in a press release. “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.”
People in the 18-24 year-old age group in Wisconsin have a case rate five times higher than any other age group. Last week, eight Wisconsin cities were listed among the top 20 cities in the United States where COVID-19 cases were rising fastest, and six of those eight have University of Wisconsin System campuses.
“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.”
The number of new cases have risen from 678 per day on Aug. 31 to 1,791 on Sept. 21, driven in part, according to the Governor, by the “unprecedented number of infections among 18-24 year-olds.”
For more information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We also encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.