Evers announces new public health emergency, extends face coverings order
MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers today declared a new public health emergency in Wisconsin and reissued Emergency Order #1. The announcement was made as Wisconsin’s hospitals are operating at or very near full capacity and healthcare providers are struggling to keep up with the demand for care.
Today’s face covering order extends the current requirement for Wisconsin residents ages five and older to wear a face covering when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit.
“Wisconsin hospitals are overwhelmed and facing staffing shortages,” said Gov. Evers. “We continue to see record-setting days of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. We need everyone to stay home and wear a mask if you have to go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus and we all have to do this together.”
In addition to staffing shortages, Wisconsin hospitals in every Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition Region are strained and intensive care units are often full and may no longer be able to accept new patients.
“The current surge in cases is overwhelming our hospitals,” said Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We know hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, which means we will need even more capacity for our hospitals in the coming weeks with our current cases. We need every Wisconsinite to take this seriously to stay home. That is why it is imperative we take action to curb transmission now – to protect residents of Wisconsin in every corner of the state.