New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced Thursday that he is imposing a statewide mask mandate, which will take effect Friday.
Sununu said the order will apply to both indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing is impossible.
THREAD: Effective tomorrow, the State will be issuing a statewide mask mandate. This is not a decision that came lightly, and many factors were taken into consideration with regards to the data, the impact, and the effects on our citizens. Let me explain:
— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) November 19, 2020
“This is obviously a decision that did not come lightly,” the governor stated of the move.
Sununu did not say that people would be fined or otherwise penalized for not wearing a mask. He noted that the Attorney General’s Office has some enforcement authority it has exercised with some businesses, but he said the state will work to educate people on the importance of wearing masks. The order came as New Hampshire health officials announced 529 new cases of COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus], a record over the course of the pandemic. State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said there were 4,006 active cases in the state, also a record. Thursday’s 4.1% PCR test positivity rate was the second-highest rate since the state began reporting it Oct. 2.
Sununu is the latest governor is issue a statewide mask mandate. On Wednesday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said that he will sign an executive order extending his state’s mask rules into 2021.
“I learned last week that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that if we continue on the path we are on, Wisconsin could see 5,000 deaths by the end of this calendar year,” said Evers in a press conference. “This is not something happening someplace else, to somebody else.”
The current mask mandate would have expired Saturday.
Evers urged Wisconsin Republicans to support the order while the Wisconsin Supreme Court considers a lawsuit opposing the measure.
“That’s why today I am also once again calling on Republicans to withdraw their support for this lawsuit and to publicly support our new public health emergency and face coverings order,” stated the governor. “It is time, folks. We do not get any do overs, here. Enough games. We need you to join the cause and we need you to start today.”