In an announcement released this morning, Friday, July 31, 2020, Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright said his office would not "prosecute any referrals for violations of the mandate of requiring face coverings" issued yesterday by Gov. Tony Evers in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Wisconsin.

In doing so, Wright said Evers' authority to issue such an order remains "unresolved.

"At this time, I am not satisfied such a clear authority exists," he added.

Wright added that his announcement "does not mean that masks should not be worn and, in many instances, must be worn."

He said that governmental authorities and private businesses were within their rights to require face coverings to be worn by visitors to public buildings, and employees and customers in private businesses.

"If a person refuses to comply with the requirement to wear a mask or face covering, that person may be directed to leave the premises," Wright said. "If the person refuses to leave, that person may be prosecuted for trespass."

Read the Aug. 5, 2020, News-Shield for further details.