Wisconsin Orders Mandatory Face Masks. Some Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce.

'There are numerous legitimate exemptions to the requirement of wearing a face covering'

Image Credits: Patcharanan Worrapatchareeroj.

Wisconsin this week is joining the growing number of states to issue a mandatory face mask order to counter the media-stoked fears about rising COVID-19 cases.

The order, signed by Democratic Governor Tony Evers, declared a “Public Health Emergency and issued an Emergency Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings when indoors and not in a private residence, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order.”

Effective August 1, the order argues that widespread mask wearing is essential to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

Said Evers: “While our local health departments have been doing a heck of a job responding to this pandemic in our communities, the fact of the matter is, this virus doesn’t care about any town, city, or county boundary, and we need a statewide approach to get Wisconsin back on track.

“We’ve said all along that we’re going to let science and public health experts be our guide in responding to this pandemic, and we know that masks and face coverings will save lives. While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, my job as governor is to put people first and to do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I am going to do.”

The document points to statistics that say cases “dramatically increased” in July, with an average of 890 new cases each day between July 15-21. The directive from the governor requires that anyone over age 5 to wear a “face covering” in any enclosed space that is not one’s dwelling.

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