(Reuters) - Wisconsin’s governor on Friday extended a statewide mask mandate despite a legal challenge from conservatives, renewing an emergency health order requiring face coverings in public spaces to curb an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections.
Many Republican politicians, led by President Donald Trump, have belittled or criticized face coverings as an infringement of personal freedom.
Public health experts say greater social mixing and indoor gatherings as the weather turns colder ahead of the holiday season is fueling a worsening contagion, putting already strained healthcare systems further under siege.
His new health order requires everyone to wear masks in enclosed spaces except at home when no one from outside the household is present.
Earlier in the day, Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, appealed to Americans to avoid unnecessary travel and limit social gatherings during next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
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