By Patrick Lynn
Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday issued a statewide order for residents to stay at home, and for nonessential businesses to close immediately.
Under the 16-page order, residents are ordered to stay at home unless they need to travel for work, purchase items from the grocery store and pharmacy, or to care for a friend or family member. Residents can still walk their dogs, take their children to the playground, and bike, walk, or exercise outdoors, provided they maintain six-foot social distancing.
Essential services will remain open under Evers’ order, which includes government operations, bars and restaurants open for carryout or delivery service only, grocery stores, child care settings, transportation companies, organizations that provide charitable/social services, gas stations, hardware and supply stores, media outlets, laundromats, mail/delivery services, and critical trades such as construction.
Wisconsin residents are able to:
Perform tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
Get necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home;
Care for a family member in another household; and
Care for older adults, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.
Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include, but are not limited to:
Health care operations, including home health workers;
Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals;
Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks;
Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences;
Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;
Child care facilities, with some limitations;
Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
Laundry businesses, dry cleaners and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence, including garbage collection;
Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians;
Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
Roles required for any business to maintain minimum basic operations, which includes security, and payroll; and
Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.
The order contains detailed information regarding the exemptions provided to certain businesses. If a business is unsure about whether or not they are exempted from this order, please contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation here.
The public should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:
Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house);
Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;
Covering coughs and sneezes;
Avoiding touching your face; and
The governor ordered all nonessential business and operations to cease immediately, which include:
- All K-12 schools will remain closed until further notice
- Places of public amusement/activity, to include country clubs, museums, children’s play centers, bowling alleys, and swimming pools
- Salons and spas, or other personal care businesses, like nail and tanning salons, will be closed until further notice
Anyone found in violation of the governor’s order could be punished with up to 30 days in jail, a $250 fine, or both.