Gov. Evers to declare new state of emergency, reissue mask mandate

The new declaration will extend the public health emergency in Wisconsin until January of 2021.
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 2:03 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 3:05 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday he will declare a new state of emergency for Wisconsin, as well as reissue the mandate requiring the use of a face covering.

“We do not get any do overs here,” Gov. Evers said. “Enough games, we need you to join the cause and we need you to start today.”

The current public health emergency, Executive Order #90, expires on Saturday, but Gov. Evers said it is clear based on where the state is headed that they cannot afford to stop any mitigation efforts. The new declaration will extend the public health emergency in Wisconsin until January of 2021.

Gov. Tony Evers issued the current public health emergency on Tues, Sept. 22 which added two months to the statewide order. The seven-day average on COVID-19 cases back then was around 1,800 cases, the governor pointed out. There were about 104,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as well.

“Things have worsened quickly since then,” Gov. Evers said.

The state reported Tuesday that Wisconsin has more than tripled their seven-day average, averaging 6,400 new positive COVID-19 cases per day. There are more than 323,000 total cases in the state.

Gov. Evers is also reissuing Emergency Order #1, which requires face coverings in public places. This order was also set to expire on Saturday.

While there has been promising news lately of success in COVID-19 vaccine trials, the governor warned Wisconsinites need to “buckle down” until the vaccine is ready. More than anything, the governor said he urged people to stay at home unless they absolutely have to go out.

“Call it what you want, flattening the curve, stopping the spread, staying safer at home,” Gov. Evers said. “I’m going to call it what it is, it’s about saving lives.”

Since the pandemic began, the governor highlighted that the state has invested $2 billion on public health resources and economic relief for businesses. Gov. Evers urged the public to join him in calling on federal partners to provide support for the state.

Wisconsin hospitals report critical staffing shortages as cases surge in the state

DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm noted that one-third of Wisconsin hospitals are reporting a current critical staffing shortage. Forty-one percent of hospitals expect a current critical staffing shortage within a week.

Every region in the state has multiple hospitals that have activated their surge plan.

DHS reported 7,989 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and 52 new deaths related to the virus.

Palm urged Wisconsinites to not gather for Thanksgiving saying it “is not worth the risk.”

Emergency orders challenged in court

Gov. Evers noted that the current public emergency order and mask mandate are being challenged in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He called on Republicans in the Legislature to withdraw their support for this lawsuit and publicly support the new orders.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on whether to strike down the state’s mask mandate being challenged by conservatives as an unconstitutional overreach of power by Democratic. Gov. Tony Evers.

The arguments came as Wisconsin broke records last week for new COVID-19 cases as the coronavirus continues a surge in the state.

Evers has argued he can issue multiple orders because the threat caused by the pandemic has changed. But those challenging him say Evers' actions are illegal.

Gov. Evers delivers COVID-19 update

Gov. Tony Evers and DHS officials provide the latest on the state's battle against coronavirus.

Posted by NBC15 Madison on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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