Wisconsin Face Covering Mandate to Begin August 1st

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Governor Evers issued Emergency Order #1 on July 30, 2020 implementing a statewide face covering mandate. The face covering requirement will begin on Saturday, August 1, 2020 and will expire September 28, 2020 or by a subsequent superseding emergency order.

The Order requires every individual over the age of five in Wisconsin wear a face covering if “the individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence; and; 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 is defined as a “confined space open to the public where individuals congregate, including but not limited to outdoor bars, outdoor restaurants, taxis, public transit, ride-share vehicles, and outdoor park structures.”

Further, the Order provides for occasions when the face covering may be removed. Individuals can remove the face covering while eating or drinking, communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and communication cannot be achieved through other means, obtaining services that require temporary removal of face covering (i.e. dental services), sleeping, engaging in work where a face covering would create a risk to the individual (as determined by government safety guidelines), when necessary to confirm the individual’s identity, and when Federal, State or local law would prohibit wearing a face covering.

The Order also provides a list of exempt individuals per the CDC guidelines, including but not limited to, “individuals with medical conditions, intellectual or development disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities that prevent the individual from wearing a face covering”.

Violation of the Order carries a maximum fine of $200.

Wisconsin is the 34th state to issue a statewide face covering mandate. Click here to view the order in its entirety.

The Governors Office also issued a FAQ on the mandate which can be found here.

(Special thanks to Nicole Zeman and Lucas Sczygelski for their assistance with this article.)

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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