MADISON — It didn’t take long for Gov. Tony Evers to push another round of mask mandates dressed as guidance amid rising COVID-19 cases.
“All employees should wear a mask in state buildings or while in a building on state business regardless of vaccination status,” advises the administration’s new safety guidance for all state employees. The mask directive goes into effect today.
Is the new Department of Administration directive going full Preston Cole? The wording of the document would seem to suggest so. Cole, Evers’ Department of Natural Resources secretary, demanded DNR employees wear masks “even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff.”
Cole made the demand in an email on July 31, 2020, just as Evers’ first statewide mask mandate was set to go into effect. The Wisconsin Supreme Court eventually struck down the Democrat’s perpetual mask orders, finding that Evers acted unlawfully.
There is concern the governor may try again to defy the third branch and issue new, broader public emergency orders as he has been quick to do over the run of the pandemic.
For now, it appears he’s extending his overreaching hands mostly into where he has authority/
State employees will be allowed a little breathing room. Team Evers says masks may be removed in closed spaces “like an office or conference room where no other person is present.”
It is curious that the new guidance, which demands mask-wearing regardless of vaccinated status, takes great pains to define vaccinated status.
“Employees are considered vaccinated if it has been 2 weeks since they completed their vaccine series,” the document states.