Madison, Wisconsin (AP) – Gov. Tony Evers’s administration on Tuesday issued an order requiring all executive workers who have not submitted their COVID-19 vaccination status to their superiors or are not fully vaccinated to undergo weekly testing.
The mandate will take effect October 18 and will apply to all executive officers, interns and contractors.
The order drew immediate opposition from the Republican leader of the State Senate.
Senator Devin LeMahier called it a “broad” mandate based not on the law, but rather on the “coercion of workers to disclose health information.” He said the Senate “will explore all options within our mandate” to block the testing requirement.
About 70% of the approximately 30,000 executive officers said they received at least one dose of the vaccine as of 10 September.
Evers did not demand vaccinations for anyone, but said in August that he was considering it.
Testing requirements arise amid a spike in cases due to the more contagious delta variant. The seven-day average of new cases as of Monday was 1,670, the same as at the end of January before the vaccine became widely available.
Currently, 1,056 people have been hospitalized, which is at the level of the beginning of January.
According to the State Department of Health, over 63% of the state’s population aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated, while 52.5% of the total population is vaccinated.