A new public health emergency has been declared as the state is gripped in the middle of a second surge of COVID-19 infections.
Wisconsin Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm says most of the state has reached the community spread stage of the pandemic. Palm said, "COVID is widespread enough that interacting in the community may be all that it takes to expose you to the virus." More than a thousand new cases were confirmed Thursday in Wisconsin. She says the need for a general order to wear masks is because a patchwork system of some people wearing masks and some not wearing masks hasn't worked. The statewide mask mandate goes into effect Saturday.