Evers sets new Wisconsin health emergency, mask requirements
MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers has established a new statewide public health emergency and face coverings requirement as the state expands vaccination distribution across Wisconsin.
“We’re working every day to get vaccines distributed and get shots in arms to get our state back to some sort of normal,” Evers said Tuesday as he issued Emergency Order #1 and Executive Order #104.
The emergency order, which addresses face masks, says, in part, that masks are required for people 5 and older if:
* The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence
* And another person or persons who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are in the same room or enclosed space.
Face coverings are strongly recommended in all other settings, including outdoors when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
The order includes several exceptions, including:
• While eating or drinking.
• When communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and communication cannot be achieved through other means.
• While obtaining a service that requires the temporary removal of the face covering, such as dental services.
• While sleeping.
• While swimming or lifeguard duty.
• When giving a religious, political, media, educational, artistic, cultural, musical or theatrical presentation for an audience. While the face covering is removed, the speaker must remain at least 6 feet away from all other individuals at all times.
• When engaging in work where wearing a face covering would create a risk to the individual, as determined by government safety guidelines.
• When necessary to confirm the individual’s identity, including when entering a bank, credit union, or other financial institution.
The order lists several other exceptions.
Addressing overall measures, Evers said, “At the end of the day, vaccine supplies are limited, so while we continue to ask the federal government for more vaccines and faster, we have to keep working together to stop the spread today by continuing wear our masks, staying home whenever we can, avoiding gatherings, and doubling down on our efforts to keep our friends, neighbors, and families safe.”
Wisconsin has administered 248,185 vaccines across the state as of Tuesday. Health officials began administering vaccines in Phase 1B to first responders and law enforcement earlier this week.
The state Department of Health Services also announced that residents 65 years or older will be eligible for the vaccine starting Monday. About 700,000 Wisconsin residents 65 years or older would be eligible for the next round of vaccines.
Noting that such an endeavor will take a considerable amount to time, a state official said the task will depend on the number of vaccines the federal government provides.
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