Evers announces new order advising, not requiring people to ‘stay home’

MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Tony Evers is strongly encouraging people, not requiring them, to stay home as the state recorded another record day in new COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

"It's not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over—it's just not safe and it might not be safe for a while yet," said Evers in a statewide address at the Capitol.

Evers signedExecutive Order #94advising Wisconsinites to stay home, urges precautions to stay safe if they have to leave their homes and encourages businesses to take additional steps to protect employees and community members.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin reported 7,000 new infections, 66 deaths, and 291 people hospitalized due to COVID-19.

He made the announcement during his first primetime speech to the state centering around the message of unity to slow down the trajectory of the virus.

"We must now return our undivided attention to the COVID-19 pandemic. We must start fighting this virus, together, and we must start tonight," said Evers.

During his address, Evers also referenced projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation which indicates based on current state data, approximately 5,000 Wisconsinites could die from COVID-19 by January 1, 2021.

"If no further actions are taken to get this virus under control, that means another 2,500 people might not be with us on New Year’s Day," said Evers.

The governor also announced he will be introducing a COVID-19 response bill in the coming days "to provide more support to Wisconsinites" but he did release any details.

For months, Democrats and the governor have called on Republicans to pass another relief bill as cases started to surge over the summer.

Last month, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald requested a meeting with Evers to discuss the COVID-19 climate in the state. Evers responded by sendinga three page lettersaying he's willing to meet but asked them to bring their own ideas to address the pandemic.

However, GOP leaders and the governor have not talked in months.

Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald for months didn't believe another coronavirus bill was necessary. Vos changed his tone last month expressing he's willing to pass a second bill after months of inaction at the Capitol.

Vos and Fitzgerald did not respond to requests for comment.

Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) said during an interview onCapital City Sundaythat he's "open to any and all suggestions that can put Wisconsin in a better place to help with the spread and surge of the virus."

The last time lawmakers convened in session was in April after they passed aCOVID-19 relief billaimed at addressing some of the problems caused by the pandemic.

Evers also called on Congress in his speech to pass legislation providing additional resources to states across the country as the federal CARES Act funding is set to expire by the end of the year.

"We have a long road ahead of us, and there are workers, families, farmers, and small businesses that are going to need our help as we work to fight this virus, together."

More at WKOW 27 News

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