Court Blocks Wisconsin Governor’s COVID-19 Distancing Rules As Cases Surge

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Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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An appeals court in Wisconsin blocked Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ indoor social distancing guidelines Friday amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the state, according to the Associated Press.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals decision comes after Evers’ Oct. 6 order, which limited public indoor gatherings to 25% of a venue’s capacity or 10 people in places without an established limit, the AP reported. Evers’ order is set to expire Nov. 15.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin sued, arguing capacity limits serve as a “de facto closure” order for restaurants and bars, per the report. Wisconsin’s case count was among the worst in the U.S. with a rise in daily new cases. State Republican lawmakers are also suing and said Evers is overstepping his authority.

Evers, along with state health officials, said in a statement Wednesday that 173 people had died of the virus in 7 days and the average number of cases over 7 days hit nearly 3,500 cases. (RELATED: Wisconsin Reports Highest Daily COVID-19 Death Count, 173 Dead In 7 Days)

Wisconsin health officials said Friday around 4,400 more citizens contracted COVID-19, the AP reported, during the same week the state recorded its highest daily death toll. The daily record, which Evers announced Tuesday, is 4,591 cases. Health services said there were 42 more deaths, which makes the death count 1,745.

Wisconsin ranked fourth in the U.S. this week in most new cases per capita, ABC12 reported. The last two weeks the state reached nearly 757 cases per 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, per the same report.

The state hospital association reported a record number of hospitalizations Friday at 1,243, according to the AP.

Wisconsin has recorded 186,100 COVID-19 cases and conducted 1,944,538 tests, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.