Gov. Evers continues mask mandate order, declares a public health emergency in WI.

Six UW System colleges are seeing major increases in positive COVID-19 cases this month. Image courtesy of the CDC, public domain.

Author: Jessica Gregory

Gov. Evers declared an emergency health order this morning effective immediately in response to campus outbreaks and a nearly exponential growth in positive cases in Wisconsin.

Order #1 requires all Wisconsinites above the age of five to be wearing a mask while in public, maintaining all exceptions listed in the previous mask mandate. This renewed mask mandate is set to last until at least Nov. 21, 2020.

Wearing face coverings and abiding by social distancing guidelines are a proven way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Executive order #90 officially proclaims that Wisconsin is amidst a public health emergency and appoints the Department of Health Services to lead in directing how the state responds. The National Guard is now authorized to assist in the Presidential election on Nov. 3 if needed. 

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 surge in cases this month has been attributed to new factors, like the K-12 school year beginning and college students returning to campus. Individuals 18-24 continue to be the age group with the highest percentage of positive cases.

Today, there are six Wisconsin cities listed in the New York Times‘ top 20 metro areas that are seeing a rapid spread of the virus. La Crosse came in at number two, a college town that enrolls nearly 10,000 students.

Especially targeting his message towards college students, Gov. Evers pleads for the public to limit excessive social outings.

 “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,” Evers said.

On Sunday, Wisconsin reached over 100,000 positive cases of COVID-19. The state also has its highest recorded cases in a single day on Friday, peaking at 2,626, reports Channel 3000. 

Data trends display COVID-19 as approximately 10 times more deadly than influenza. In Gov. Evers’ press release Tuesday, he emphasizes the importance of receiving a flu shot to conserve healthcare resources and prevent flu hospitalizations.