Wisconsin judge blocks governor’s order limiting capacity

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin judge has temporarily blocked an order from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration limiting the number of people who can gather in bars, restaurants and other indoor places.

Sawyer County Circuit Judge John Yackel on Wednesday blocked the order and set a court date for Monday.

The Democratic governor’s order, issued last week, limited the number of customers in many indoor establishment to 25% of capacity. A spokeswoman for Evers did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the ruling.

Evers responded Wednesday afternoon on Twitter, saying, “We’ll be challenging that decision, but here’s the bottom line: Wisconsinites, stay home.”  Evers used the Twitter thread to remind people to follow scientific recommendations.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin had sued Tuesday and argues that the order amounted to “defacto closure.”

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi released a statement on Wednesday’s ruling, calling it the latest attempt to sabotage  strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Our state is making every national ‘worst’ list right now for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations,” Parisi said. “In fact, yesterday was a record bad day for cases, and Dr. Fauci is regularly talking nationally about his concerns about what’s happening in our state.”

Parisi also added that Dane County’s public health orders are not impacted by the ruling.