On Thursday, Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency and passed an emergency warrant obliging people to wear a face mask when they are not in a private residence, his office said in a statement.
“We have always said that we will allow scientific and public health experts to be the answer to this pandemic, and we know that masks and face masks will save lives,” Gov. Evers said in a press release.
“While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing a face mask in public,” he added, “my role as governor is to bring people forward and do what is best for the people of our state, so I intend to do that. “.
The order takes effect on Saturday at 12:01 a.m., according to a press release. It will expire on 28 September. Or by an order replacing it.
This move is on the rise as the average number of new cases has risen drastically over the past four weeks, and there has been a significant spread of the community in the state. According to the Evers office, the number of cases increased by 75% in July because a public health emergency was ordered.
By order of the Governor, face masks are required for every person 5 years of age or older who is in an enclosed space other than a private residence. Covering is also required if there is another person in the enclosed space who is not a member of the household.
Otherwise, the masks are “strictly recommended in all other places, including outdoors, where it is not possible to maintain physical separation.”
There are exceptions, including swimming or a visit to the dentist. The order is enforced with a fine of up to $ 200, although it is unclear how enforcement will work.
Chief Wisconsin chief physician and infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Westergaard said in a statement that being at home, social isolation and hand washing are effective ways to stop the spread of the virus. But masks are also important, he said.
“More and more research is showing us that facials, which are used correctly and consistently by a large section of the public, are particularly effective in preventing the spread of Covid-19 through airway droplets,” Westergaard said.
CNN’s Brad Parks and Kay Jones contributed to this report.