Gov. Evers announces new public health emergency, extends statewide mask mandate

Tony Evers in front of a flag

MADISON, Wis. — In an attempt to reduce hospital bed and staff shortages throughout Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers declared a new public health emergency Friday and has extended the statewide mask requirement.

According to a news release, Executive Order #95 and Emergency Order #1 are effective immediately and are set to expire after 60 days or with a superseding order. Evers originally announced his plan to reissue the mask mandate and State of Emergency during a news briefing Wednesday.

“Wisconsin hospitals are overwhelmed and facing staffing shortages,” Evers said in a statement. “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 you go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together.”

Under the new face covering order, anyone 5 or older is required to wear a face mask while indoors or in an enclosed space with those outside their household.

The exponential growth of the virus within the state has led to fewer hospital beds and resources for patients in need of treatment.

“The current surge in cases are overwhelming our hospitals,” said Department of Health Services 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.”

The seven-day average of new cases per day is at 6,254, which is nearly twice the amount of last month’s average. Wisconsin saw 5,807* new cases on Friday alone.