Gov. Evers Declares New Public Health Emergency Due to Campus Outbreaks, Issues New Face Coverings Order
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today declared a new public health emergency in Wisconsin due to recent surge in cases among young people and issued a new face coverings order effective immediately. Executive Order #90 is available here. Emergency Order #1 is available here. Both orders are effective immediately and will expire after sixty days or with a subsequent superseding order. The governor previously declared a public health emergency under Executive Order #82, which remains in effect.
“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,” said Gov. Evers. “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.”
“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.”
Wisconsin is now experiencing unprecedented, near-exponential growth of the COVID-19 pandemic with the daily number of new cases rising from 678 on August 31st to 1,791 on September 21st, a 2.6-fold increase in three weeks, driven in part by the unprecedented number of infections among 18-24 year-olds.
“We need to remember that most respiratory viruses see their peak activity in Wisconsin between late fall and early spring,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer and the State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. “We need to do everything we can now to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prepare for the winter. That is why we need to continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. It is also why we encourage everyone to get a flu shot this year; the flu shot cannot protect you from COVID-19, but by helping protect you from the flu, it helps strengthen our COVID-10 response here in Wisconsin by preserving hospital and testing capacity.”
On July 30, Gov. Evers issued Executive Order #82 to declare a public health emergency as a result of a spike in COVID-19 cases in counties throughout the state. At the same time, Gov. Evers issued a statewide face covering mandate. New cases of COVID-19 slowed down in August as a result of the mandate, but as campuses reopened the last several weeks, there has been a new surge in cases across our state. 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.
For up-to-date 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.
- Gallagher Statement on Pelosi’s Payout - U.S. Rep Mike Gallagher - Feb 27th, 2021
- MKE County: COVID-19 Declining to Summer Levels - Graham Kilmer - Feb 26th, 2021
- State Launches Vaccine Provider Map - Graham Kilmer - Feb 26th, 2021
- WI Daily: 656 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Feb 26th, 2021
- Supervisor Martin Calls on State Officials to Prioritize District 7 in Vaccination Effort - Sup. Felesia Martin - Feb 26th, 2021
- WI Daily: 840 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Feb 25th, 2021
- Evers Signs Bill on Unemployment System - Laurel White - Feb 25th, 2021
- DHS Announces Groups Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine on March 1 - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Feb 25th, 2021
- Milwaukee Health Department Adjusts Testing Hours at American Family Field - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Feb 25th, 2021
- WI Daily: 747 New COVID-19 Cases - Urban Milwaukee - Feb 24th, 2021
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here