Starting Saturday, Wisconsin residents will need to wear face coverings when indoors or in an enclosed space and other people are present. The new rule does not apply to private residents or when people are outdoors.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency today over the continued spread of COVID-19 and issued the executive order regarding face coverings. The order will expire Sept. 28 or by a subsequent superseding order. Several cities in Wisconsin, such as Milwaukee, have already put into place their own face mask orders.
Evers said the public health emergency and face mask order are necessary because the state is seeing new and significant community spread and increases in cases of infection. The rise in cases are being seen statewide, with 61 of 72 counties representing 96 percent of the state’s population experiencing high COVID-19 activity, according to a news release. This compares to June, when only 19 counties were experiencing high activity.
According to a FAQ sheet on the order, people need to wear a face covering while inside a business or office space. They also need to wear a mask while exercising indoors or in an enclosed space when others are present, such as at a gym or cycling studio. A mask is not required if someone is swimming.
Masks will not be required when people are eating or drinking. In addition, those with health conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a mask or children under age 5 are also exempt.