By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In a radio address on Thursday morning, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he will issue a new public health emergency which will extend until January 2021, as COVID continues to surge in the state.

Wisconsin is seeing a seven-day average of 6,400 new COVID cases. When Evers originally issued the public health emergency on Sept. 22, the seven-day average was around 1,800.

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He said he will issue the new public health emergency on Saturday, when the current one is set to expire. He will also reissue Emergency Order #1, which requires face coverings in public places.

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“It’s clear based on where we’re headed, we cannot afford to stop or have a gap in some of our only mitigation efforts we still have in place,” said Evers.

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As of Wednesday, Wisconsin had 331,837 people test positive for the virus and 2,793 deaths. Hospitals have been overwhelmed in the state; last week, Mayo Clinic said its hospital beds and ICU units were full in northwestern Wisconsin.

“We’ve got a long road ahead of us, Wisconsin, but we need to buckle down and get through this together until then,” he said. “Call it what you want – flattening the curve, stopping the spread, staying safer at home . . . I’m going to call it what it is – saving lives.”

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday a new set of restrictions on social gatherings, restaurants, gyms, and sports. Bars and restaurants will go take-out only, gyms will close, and youth sports will be put on pause.

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