Gatherings over 50 people banned statewide, Evers announces

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Gov. Tony Evers has issued a ban covering the entire state of Wisconsin on mass gatherings of more than 50 people.

“Folks, it’s on all of us to practice social distancing and take every step possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Evers said in a tweet announcing the ban.

He explained the ban will not affect “critical infrastructure and services,” citing grocery stores, childcare centers, pharmacies, and hospitals as examples of exempted businesses.

“This isn’t a decision I made lightly and we understand this will have an impact on Wisconsin workers, families, businesses and communities, but keeping folks safe and healthy has to be our highest priority,” Evers added.

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Dane Co. officials issued a similar ban Saturday, while the Jefferson Co. Health Department recommended postponing such events.

On Monday, President Trump announced his recommendation to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more. Governor Evers clarified this is not a requirement in Wisconsin.

"I’d say avoid people period. But that’s not a mandate. Our mandate is around 50, and that’s where it will be until such time that we believe we need to change that," Gov. Evers said during a Monday afternoon press conference.

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