Appeals court blocks Wisconsin gathering order


MADISON (WKOW) — A Wisconsin appeals court has reversed a lower court’s ruling and blocked a statewide limit on gatherings and business capacities.

Emergency Order #3 is no longer in force, however Gov. Tony Evers’ administration can appeal the ruling to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The ruling itself and any possible appeal may have no practical effect as the order was scheduled to expire today. The governor’s office has made no attempt to extend the order.

The order was designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 which has spiked in Wisconsin, causing record numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

The state’s highest judicial body refused to hear the case earlier this week, instead waiting for the appeals court to issue its ruling.

A district court judge ruled in favor of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services earlier this month.

At issue was the Department of Health Service’s Emergency Order #3 which limits public gatherings and caps capacity at bars and restaurants to 25 percent.

Following the ruling, Gov. Tony Evers released a statement on the decision.

“Today’s decision comes as we reported more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases—the most ever in a single day. This is another blow to our state’s response to this pandemic and our efforts to keep Wisconsinites safe. We will continue challenging this decision, but the bottom line is that we can’t wait for the courts to figure this out—we need Wisconsinites to stay home and mask up, and it has to start today. It’s the only way we will get this virus under control and ensure our economy can recover.”

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