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Wisconsin judge upholds mask mandate as coronavirus cases surge

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A Circuit Court judge has denied a lawsuit against Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to overturn the face mask mandate in the state, according to a court filing obtained by CNN.

(CNN)A Circuit Court judge has denied a lawsuit against Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to overturn the face mask mandate in the state, according to a court filing obtained by CNN.

Three people had sued to challenge the governor's authority to issue the order declaring a public health emergency.

They said in the filing that he "exceeded his statutory authority" by declaring an emergency three different times in relation to the Covid-19 health crisis.

In July, Evers issued an emergency order mandating that citizens wear a face covering indoors when not in a private residence, with some exceptions.

The order was set to expire September 22 but because of a rise in cases, Evers declared a new public health emergency.

By state law, the governor is allowed to issue a public health emergency for up to 60 days, unless extended by the state legislature.

Michael Waterman said the statute does not prohibit Evers from declaring successive states of emergency and that it allows for a declaration if the governor determines a public health emergency exists.

Waterman also said in his ruling that if the legislature "is unconvinced that a state of emergency does exist" then it has the power to terminate it.

Waterman said a temporary injunction against the order would affect everyone in the state and goes beyond the private interest of the plaintiffs.

This ruling comes days after the state announced it will be opening a field hospital at the state fair park in response to an alarming surge in Covid-19 hospitalizations that is overwhelming hospitals, according to Evers.

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