Madison, Wis. Tony Evers’ administration issued an order Tuesday requiring all executive branch employees who have not presented their COVID-19 vaccination status to their supervisors or are not fully vaccinated to undergo weekly testing.
The order will be effective from October 18 and will be applicable to all executive branch employees, trainees and contractors.
The Republican leader of the state Senate immediately opposed the order.
Devin Lemhieu called this a “broad” mandate that was not based on legislation, but on “forced medical disclosure from workers”. He said the Senate would “explore all options within our authority” to prevent the need for testing.
About 70% of the 30,000 or more employees of the executive branch self-reported that they had received at least one dose of the vaccine by September 10.
Evers hasn’t made vaccination mandatory for anyone, but he said in August he was considering it.
The need for testing comes amid a spike in cases due to the more infectious delta variant. The seven-day average of new cases as of Monday stood at 1,670, before the vaccine became widely available in late January.
The 1,056 people currently hospitalized are at the same level they were in early January.
According to the state’s Department of Health Services, more than 63% of the state’s people age 18 and older are fully vaccinated, while 52.5% of the total population is vaccinated.