‘This crisis is urgent’: Gov. Evers signs Executive Order asking Wisconsin to stay home amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is delivering a statewide address Tuesday night to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During the address, the governor announced he has signed an Executive Order asking Wisconsinites to stay home.

The announcement comes just hours after the Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed another record day of new COVID-19 cases reported in the state.

During the address, Gov. Evers said:

“…I want to be clear tonight: each day this virus goes unchecked is a setback for our economic recovery.

Our bars, restaurants, small businesses, families, and farmers will continue to suffer if we don’t take action right now—our economy cannot bounce back until we contain this virus.

So, tonight, I have signed Executive Order #94 advising Wisconsinites to stay home to save lives.

We must get back to the basics of fighting this virus just like we did last spring, and it starts at home.

It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over—it’s just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet.

So, please, cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers, and playdates at your home. And if a friend or family member invites you over, offer to hang out virtually instead.

And unfortunately, with the holidays just around the corner, we recommend that you plan to celebrate just with your own household. You can still invite others to join virtually, but we advise you not to go to any gatherings with people who are not in your immediate home.”

He went on to say that the order comes as Wisconsin continues to see a rise in new cases and deaths:

Our case numbers continue to climb. Since just last Friday, we’ve added more than 25,000 new cases. It took us seven and a half months to get to 100,000 cases. But it only took 36 days to add another 100,000. The way things are going, it will take us only 20 days to reach another 100,000.

We’ve now surpassed, in deaths, the number of lives we projected we would have saved months ago if we would have been able to keep safer at home and reopen safely. 2,395 Wisconsinites—mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends, and coworkers—have lost their lives, and I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Unfortunately, they will not be the last.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates 5,000 Wisconsinites could be lost to COVID-19 by January 1st if no further actions are taken to get this virus under control. That means another 2,500 people who might not be with us on New Year’s Day.

Wisconsin, this is serious. This crisis is urgent.

Under the Executive Order, Wisconsinites are encouraged to “stay home as much as possible and only make trips when necessary, such as to go to work, pick up groceries, or refill prescriptions.”

READ THE FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER BELOW

Wisconsinites are advised to take precautions when leaving their home, including avoiding gatherings of any size with people outside their household, maintain at least six feet distance, and wear a face covering.

Individuals are encouraged to avoid travel “consistent with federal guidance and to protect our neighboring states.”

Gov. Evers continued in his address, saying:

I know this year has been extremely difficult, and I know good news is hard to come by these days.

But, as I stand here tonight, I’ll tell you that I’m hopeful—that we can beat this virus and we can rebuild and recover.

Anyone would be a fool to count us out, Wisconsin.

The surges we see—the new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths—these are not foregone conclusions. These are predictable and preventable. That means the fight against this virus is winnable, but only if we fight it together.

So, tonight we must also offer our neighbors the promise of a better tomorrow—a promise that each of us must play a part in delivering by doing everything we can.

Right now, we’ve got plenty to prove and a lot to lose. Let’s get to work, and let’s move forward, together.”

The Tavern League of Wisconsin released a statement Tuesday morning in response to the announcement, saying:

“We do not yet know what he is planning to announce, though we anticipate an approach similar to what other neighboring Governors have been doing. Obviously, the State Supreme Court and local courts have struck down earlier orders, so we anticipate him trying to modify them in a way in which he believes will sustain a legal challenge.”

A New York Times report shows the U.S. faced one of its worst weeks battling the virus last week as the daily count of cases exceeded 121,000 as 20 states reported new all-time daily highs.

Wisconsin was among those states, reporting a record 7,065 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

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