Evers Issues Statewide Mask Mandate
Order goes into effect August 1st.
Mask up Wisconsin, at least for now.
Governor Tony Evers issued a statewide emergency health order Thursday afternoon instituting a statewide mask mandate. The order goes into effect on August 1st.
The measure goes into effect the same day Jill Karofsky takes her seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, replacing Scott Walker-appointee Daniel Kelly. The outgoing Kelly was one of four judges who overturned Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm‘s Safer at Home health order on a one-vote margin.
“I want to remind everyone that we are in a battle against this virus, not against each other,” said Evers in a press briefing after issuing the order. He said he expected the order to be challenged.
The City of Milwaukee and a handful of other southeastern Wisconsin communities have instituted mask mandates, as has Dane County and the City of Green Bay. Milwaukee’s mandate went into effect on July 16th. Face coverings, when worn appropriately, are believed by public health officials and scientists to be an effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Face coverings protect the people the wearer interacts with more than the wearer themselves,” said Palm.
“While our local health departments have been doing a heck of a job responding to this pandemic in our communities, the fact of the matter is, this virus doesn’t care about any town, city, or county boundary, and we need a statewide approach to get Wisconsin back on track,” said Evers in a statement announcing the mandate. “We’ve said all along that we’re going to let science and public health experts be our guide in responding to this pandemic, and we know that masks and face coverings will save lives. While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, my job as governor is to put people first and to do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I am going to do.”
“There’s no conspiracy, folks. Wearing a face mask will help protect the people around you,” said Evers on July 23rd, saying he would consider a mandate if he knew it wouldn’t be struck down. Republican political leaders in Wisconsin have opposed a mandate and are expected to challenge the mandate in court.
The order applies to every individual ages five and up.
The mandate remains in effect until September 28th. A full copy of the order is available on Urban Milwaukee.
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