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‘Looking at all alternatives,’ Evers considering extending mask mandate

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Gov. Tony Evers wears a mask during his July 7 media briefing.

MADISON (WKOW) — Gov. Tony Evers declined to say whether he would extend Wisconsin's mask mandate on a press call Tuesday, but did acknowledge that his administration was looking at the issue.

"We're looking at all alternatives," Evers said. "We believe masking is an important component to keeping the people of Wisconsin safe. Hopefully, we find a way to make that happen going forward."

Evers noted that data from the Department of Health Services on Sunday set a record for new confirmed COVID-19 test results.

The governor encouraged the public to wear a mask whenever out in public.

"At one point Wisconsin was in a pretty good place," Evers said, "but that is no longer the case."

Within the past week, there have been five days with at least 1,300 new cases each day. This comes as colleges throughout Wisconsin continue to ramp up COVID-19 testing.

Another topic the governor expressed concerns about is a decrease in FEMA funding for personal protective equipment in Wisconsin.

Evers said moving forward, FEMA will only provide PPE for first responders leaving schools "in a world of hurt." He said if the federal government does not change course he is not sure where the protective equipment will come from.

The governor initially issued the mask mandate on July 30 and slated it to expire Sept. 28.

Evers said he has not reached out to Legislative leaders recently to try to enact legislation to manage the pandemic.

He noted that Republicans in the state Assembly and Senate have previously expressed reluctance to enact state-wide regulations pertaining to the pandemic, preferring to leave such decisions up to local authorities.

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