By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Oct 12, 2020 at 12:16 PM

This article previously ran on Sept. 22, but with Wisconsin's COVID test numbers still at high levels – and with the news on Monday that a judge ruled that Gov. Evers' mandate may stay in place – here's a good reminder that you should be masking up. 

Gov. Tony Evers today declared a new Public Health Emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the state's increase in new cases. In the process, Evers issued a new statewide mask mandate, replacing the original mandate – announced on July 30 – that would've expired on Sept. 28. 

The order will expire on Nov. 21, 2020, unless superseded by a new order.

As with the previous order, the statewide mask mandate requires all Wisconsin residents aged 5 and older to wear a face covering when they are indoors or in an enclosed space, other than a private residence, with people outside their household or living unit. As for outdoors, masks are merely "strongly recommended" when social distancing is not possible.

The mandate lists several exceptions to the requirement, stating that people may remove their masks while eating or drinking, communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, sleeping, swimming or other health-related reasons.

Those caught violating the mandate may still be fined up to $200.

The second mandate is announced after cases have spiked in Wisconsin throughout the month of September with the return of students to campuses and with the growing fall weather threatening to drive more activity inside. 

“We are seeing an alarming increase in cases across our state, especially on campus," Evers said, in a release. "We need folks to start taking this seriously, and young people especially – please stay home as much as you are able, skip heading to the bars and wear a mask whenever you go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together. The state has set new highs in the number of cases repeatedly since the start of September."

“The current surge among young people is concerning, but it is important to remember that this increase in cases is not confined to college campuses,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, in the release. “Students come to these campuses from across the state, and we worry about the effect their return from an area with a high infection rate could have on their home communities. That is why it is imperative we take action to curb transmission now – to protect residents of Wisconsin in every corner of the state."

Several cities – including Milwaukee – have installed their own mask mandates, along with several local and national businesses, to fight the pandemic. The City of Milwaukee's mandate has no expiration date.

To read the entire new public health emergency declation, click here. And to read the new mask mandate, click here. And if you need a new mask, check out this list of places to find one.

For more information and updates, stay tuned to OnMilwaukee.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.