MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Governor Tony Evers has declared a state and public health emergency in Wisconsin.
According to a release, Governor Evers says this emergency was declared because Wisconsin hospitals are operating at or very near full capacity and healthcare providers are struggling to keep up with the demand for care.
Officials say both orders are effective immediately and will expire after 60 days or with a subsequent superseding order.
READ EXECUTIVE ORDER #95 BELOW
“Wisconsin hospitals are overwhelmed and facing staffing shortages, We continue to see record-setting days of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. We need everyone to stay home and wear a mask if you have to go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together,” says Gov. Evers.
Gov. Evers also says Wisconsin hospitals in every Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition Region are strained and intensive care units are often full.
The DHS says Wisconsin’s hospitals are reporting, as of Thursday afternoon, a total of 2,104 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those, 427 are in an ICU. A total of 1,540 hospital beds, or 14% of the state’s total beds, are immediately available to patients.
With today’s new face covering order, Wisconsin residents ages five and older are required to wear a face covering when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit, according to a release.
READ EMERGENCY ORDER #1 BELOW
The public health emergency and the order requiring masks were being challenged in the state Supreme Court Wednesday.
Gov. Evers says Republicans in the legislature support these lawsuits.
“I am also, once again, calling on Republicans to withdraw their support for this lawsuit and to publicly support our new public health emergency and face-covering order,” says Gov. Evers.
Gov. Evers and other state officials participated in a media briefing on Wednesday.
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