Motorists lined up at the Alliant Energy Center for the first day of free community testing for COVID-19. Credit: Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal
Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday declared a public health emergency and issued a statewide mask mandate for most buildings in a state where the coronavirus has infected more than 52,000 people and killed more than 900. 

The move adds Wisconsin to a growing list of states to require wearing a mask — a tool public health experts call essential for preventing the virus’ spread. The order supersedes a patchwork of local masking regulations in Wisconsin, and it represents an about-face for Evers. The Democrat has repeatedly urged Wisconsinites to wear masks during the pandemic but previously called a mandate unlikely after the Wisconsin Supreme Court limited his administration’s powers.

At least 32 other states and the District of Columbia require the use of facemasks in some way, according to tracking by AARP

Mitchell Schmidt of the Wisconsin State Journal has the full story, and Adam Rogan of Racine’s Journal Times further breaks down the order, which includes some exceptions.

Top Stories

Motorists lined up at the Alliant Energy Center for the first day of free community testing for COVID-19. Credit: Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal

Gov. Tony Evers changes course, issues statewide mask mandateWisconsin State Journal 

Everything you need to know about Wisconsin’s new statewide indoor mask mandateJournal Times 

Oshkosh lawmaker misleads with claim that masks are ineffectivePolitiFact Wisconsin 

Wisconsin’s paper mills are the latest victim of the pandemicThe Washington Post 

Wisconsin groups tweak voter outreach strategies to address COVID-19 crisis, misinformationCap Times 

COVID-19 testing at Alliant Energy Center could wind down in August without more federal support z— Wisconsin State Journal 

The gulf between Republicans and Democrats on coronavirus aid, in 9 chartsThe New York Times 

What to know about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal program providing benefits to self-employedMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization 

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Data to note

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

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Resilient Wisconsin

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Frustrated while waiting for your unemployment claim to be processed? Now there’s a podcast for that. Chenon Times-Rainwater, a 41-year-old life coach and small business owner, has launched a podcast to offer a “sounding board not only for my own experience but as a voice for others I advocate for.” 

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