Gov. Evers Issues Executive Order Declaring Public Health Emergency and Requiring Face Coverings Statewide

Governor Evers today declared a public health emergency effective for the next 60 days (or until it is revoked by Governor Evers or by action of the Legislature). Pursuant to the declaration, the Governor issued a statewide requirement for all persons to wear masks. The statewide mask requirement goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020, and expires on September 28, 2020, or by a subsequent superseding emergency order. We anticipate a legal challenge will be filed.

Under the statewide mask requirement: “[e]very individual, age five and older, in Wisconsin shall wear a face covering if both of the following apply:

  1. The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence; and;
  2. Another person or persons who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space.”

“Enclosed space” includes – but is not limited to – outdoor bars, outdoor restaurants, taxis, public transit, ride-share vehicles, and outdoor park structures.

There are exceptions, detailed in the statewide requirement, for activities such as while eating or drinking or “[w]hen engaging in work where wearing a face covering would create a risk to the individual, as determined by government safety guidelines.”

The statewide requirement specifically supersedes any local order that is less restrictive. In addition, the requirement specifically states local governments may issue orders more restrictive than the statewide requirement.

The statewide requirement is order is enforceable by civil forfeiture of not more than $200.

Declaration of Public Health Emergency (Executive Order #82)

Statewide Mask Requirement (Emergency Order #1)