MADISON, WI— On Tuesday, the state Department of Health Services reported a record 5,262 positive coronavirus tests. It is the first time more than 5,000 cases have been reported on a single day. Wisconsin now has 206,311 coronavirus cases and 1,852 deaths.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said during a teleconference on Tuesday that people should stay in their homes and limit their interactions to their immediate family.
“If people stay at home, we can call it whatever,” Evers said. “I call it saving lives.”
The governor issued a formal stay-at-home order in March but was struck down by the Supreme Court in May.
A Wisconsin appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions on indoor public gatherings pending appeal. This was after a Wisconsin judge on Monday upheld and reissued an order from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration limiting the number of people who can gather in bars, restaurants and other indoor places to 25% of capacity.
The capacity limits order was issued Oct. 6 by Andrea Palm, secretary of the state Department of Health Services, in the face of surging coronavirus cases in Wisconsin. Evers said he was making the move to curb the spread of the virus as it spikes in Wisconsin.
On Friday both Evers and The Tavern League tweeted a response to Friday’s ruling.
“We will once again defend our limit on public gatherings and I’m once again asking folks to rise above tonight’s ruling, stay home, and mask up so we can get through this weekend and this pandemic together. This crisis is urgent, folks. Please stay home,” Evers tweeted.
“The Wisconsin Court of Appeals just issued a ruling reinstating the stay against Governor Evers Executive Order #3 making the Order unenforceable. The Court has expedited the case and will make a final decision on the case soon. Please continue to follow WEDC guidelines to provide a safe environment for your employees and customers. We will provide you with more information as it becomes available but the ruling by the Court of Appeals means the 25% occupancy standard in the Governor’s Order #3 is not enforceable,” The Tavern League tweeted.
The state also opened a field hospital near Milwaukee on to handle an overflow of patients from hospitals that hit a record-high number of COVID-19 patients. The capacity limits order is set to expire on Nov. 6, but could be renewed. As of Monday, there were four patients at the facility, according to DHS.
Evers also declared a public heath emergency in September and extended a statewide mask mandate until Nov. 21. The order, which was in effect since August, was set to expire in September.Under the original mask order, Wisconsin residents age 5 and older are required to wear a face mask when they are indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence, with anyone outside their family or living unit.
State officials said face masks also are strongly recommended if a person is outdoors where maintaining physical distancing is not possible. The order also spells out exceptions to the requirement, listing activities such as when someone is eating, drinking or swimming. People with health conditions or disabilities that would preclude the wearing of a face mask safely are also exempt from the requirement.
Reporting and writing from The Associated Press was used in this story.