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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday declared a public health emergency and issued a statewide mask mandate for most buildings in a state where the coronavirus has infected more than 52,000 people and killed more than 900.
The move adds Wisconsin to a growing list of states to require wearing a mask — a tool public health experts call essential for preventing the virus’ spread. The order supersedes a patchwork of local masking regulations in Wisconsin, and it represents an about-face for Evers. The Democrat has repeatedly urged Wisconsinites to wear masks during the pandemic but previously called a mandate unlikely after the Wisconsin Supreme Court limited his administration’s powers.
At least 32 other states and the District of Columbia require the use of facemasks in some way, according to tracking by AARP.
Mitchell Schmidt of the Wisconsin State Journal has the full story, and Adam Rogan of Racine’s Journal Times further breaks down the order, which includes some exceptions.
Gov. Tony Evers changes course, issues statewide mask mandate — Wisconsin State Journal
Oshkosh lawmaker misleads with claim that masks are ineffective — PolitiFact Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s paper mills are the latest victim of the pandemic — The Washington Post
COVID-19 testing at Alliant Energy Center could wind down in August without more federal support z— Wisconsin State Journal
The gulf between Republicans and Democrats on coronavirus aid, in 9 charts — The New York Times
What to know about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal program providing benefits to self-employed — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Are you worried about losing your home or apartment because of the pandemic? Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier media. Click here for details.
From the beginning, our response to this pandemic has been guided by data and science—that hasn’t changed. That’s why today I signed an statewide emergency order requiring folks ages five and over to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces with some limited exceptions.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) July 30, 2020
I have previously stated my support for local efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus and do not favor a statewide mandate. It’s disappointing that yet again Gov. Evers has chosen to not communicate or work with the legislature. #wisconsin— Speaker Robin Vos (@SpeakerVos) July 30, 2020
Data to note
Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.
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