Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday declared a public health emergency and issued an emergency order forcing people to wear face masks when they were not in a private residence, according to a statement from his office.
“We have always said that we will let science and public health experts be our guide to responding to this pandemic, and we know that masks and coatings will be able to save lives,” Gov. Evers in the statement.
“While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face covers in public,” he added, “my job as a ruler is to put people first and do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I’m going to do.
The order goes into effect at 12:01 p.m. on Saturday, the statement said. It is scheduled to expire on Sept. 28 or by a subsequent replacement order.
The evolution comes as the average number of new cases has increased dramatically in the last four weeks and the state is spreading to the important community. According to the Evers office, there was a 75% increase in cases in July, prompting the public health emergency declaration order.
According to the governor’s order, roofs are required for anyone 5 years of age or older who is in an enclosed space, except a private residence. Coverage is also required if another person who is not a member of the household is in the enclosed space.
Otherwise, masks “are highly recommended in all other settings, including the outdoors when it is not possible to maintain a physical distance.”
There are exceptions, including swimming or visiting the dentist. The order can be executed with a fine of up to $ 200, although it is unclear how the execution will work.
Ryan Westergaard, a Wisconsin chief physician and state epidemiologist for communicable diseases, said in a statement that staying home, social distancing and washing hands are effective ways to stop the spread of the virus. But masks are also important, he said.
“A growing number of scientific studies tell us that face coatings, when used correctly and consistently by a large percentage of the community, are extremely effective in preventing the spread of Covid-19 by respiratory droplets,” he said. dir Westergaard.
CNN’s Brad Parks and Kay Jones contributed to this report.