Coronavirus Wisconsin: COVID-19 cases increase by 957, with 1 new death; total cases top 48K

3 cities enact mask mandates; Evers resists statewide order

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Sunday, July 26, 2020
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As the number of novel coronavirus cases increases across the U.S. and around the world, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin has reached 48,827 with 892 deaths in the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Friday that the state's new COVID-19 cases topped 1,000 for the third time in four days. State health officials announced 957 new coronavirus cases and 1 death on Sunday.

During a press conference Tuesday, Dr. Allison Arwardy said that Wisconsin could be added to Chicago's travel quarantine order as soon as next week.

We've compiled the need-to-know information and resources to keep you and your family informed and safe. You can find all of ABC7's latest reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak here.

WATCH: Wisconsin COVID-19 survivor tells people to stop 'complaining' about extended stay-at-home order

3 cities enacts mask mandates; Evers resists statewide order

Racine, Green Bay and Superior have joined Madison and Milwaukee as Wisconsin cities that passed mandates requiring people to wear masks in certain public settings. But Gov. Tony Evers has resisted issuing a statewide order like those in place in many nearby states. More than half of U.S. states now have statewide mask mandates. Minnesota was to become the latest to announce a mandate on Wednesday. Neighboring Illinois and Michigan also mandate the wearing of masks. The Racine, Green Bay and Superior requirements were approved at city council meetings Tuesday night. They all take effect on Monday.

Wisconsin opioid overdoses jump 117% since pandemic began

Wisconsin health officials say suspected opioid overdoses have increased 117% since the coronavirus pandemic began compared with the same period last year. Data from Wisconsin emergency departments show 325 suspected overdoses from March to July 13 compared with 150 suspected overdoses over that span in 2019. State Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm says financial pressures and isolation can exacerbate behavioral and substance abuse problems. DHS officials say calls to the state's help line indicate requests for information on behavioral health have been increasing as well.

Federal suit over local Wisconsin COVID-19 orders dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two dozen Wisconsin residents challenging a variety of local stay-at-home orders enacted to curb the spread of the coronavirus. U.S. District Judge William Griesbach on Monday dismissed the challenge, saying those bringing it did not properly join all of the defendants into one lawsuit. The judge says that mistake requires that the lawsuit be dismissed, but it can be refiled. The dismissal came as Wisconsin hit a record high Tuesday in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,117 additional cases. More than 44,000 people have tested positive with 859 deaths.

Wisconsin's largest teachers unions call for online school

Teachers unions for Wisconsin's five largest school districts are asking Gov. Tony Evers and the state's top health and education officials to keep schools closed at the start of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter sent Monday was signed by union leaders for teachers in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine. It was sent to Evers, Department of Public Instruction Secretary Carolyn Stanford Taylor and Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm. The Milwaukee and Madison districts have already announced that they plan to start the school year with online instruction only and will reassess later.

Wisconsin unemployment drops to 8.5%, below national rate

Wisconsin's unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% in June. That good news came Thursday as Democratic lawmakers released proposals to remove obstacles and broaden access to unemployment benefits and Gov. Tony Evers' administration temporarily reassigned 100 state workers to help address a backlog in claims. The Department of Workforce Development has struggled to process the claims of everyone seeking unemployment. Currently about 141,000 people were awaiting payments. Wisconsin's unemployment rate was below the national average of 11.1% and far down from the state's high of 13.6% in April. Wisconsin added 99,300 private sector jobs in June.

A new audit says an unknown number of unemployed people in Wisconsin received too much, or not enough, in benefits from the state Department of Workforce in late April. The errors came as the department worked to process additional money in federal aid to help those suddenly out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Legislative Audit Bureau said Wednesday that the department should determine how many people were sent incorrect amounts and how much, then report back by Aug. 14. Agency Secretary Caleb Frostman says the department is implementing all of the audit's recommendations.

Milwaukee council approves mandatory masks in public

Wearing a face covering to prevent the spread of the coronavirus may soon be mandatory in Wisconsin's largest city. The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday requiring masks in public spaces. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the council also unanimously adopted a separate proposal to provide free masks to city residents. Anyone age 3 and older would have to wear a face-covering in buildings open to the public, as well as any outdoor public space when it's not possible to stay six feet away from people. There are exceptions for medical conditions or religious reasons. Last week, Public Health Madison and Dane County issued an order requiring masks indoors. It takes effect Monday.

Ryder Cup postponed until 2021 in Wisconsin because of COVID-19 pandemic; had been set for Sept. 25-27

The Ryder Cup has been postponed until 2021 in Wisconsin because of the COVID-19 pandemic; it had been set for Sept. 25-27 in Whistling Straights.

Evers: Capitol will stay closed, state workers to wear masks

Gov. Tony Evers' administration has postponed the reopening of the state Capitol building and will require all state employees to wear masks inside of state facilities starting next week. The Capitol building has been shuttered since March as part of Evers' plan to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. It had been set to open next Monday, but Evers' administration announced Wednesday that it will remain closed indefinitely. The administration also announced that starting Monday, all state employees must wear masks when working indoors in state facilities, including in bathrooms, elevators and parking garages.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.