This morning Governor Evers released the details of the new Safer At Home restrictions on Wisconsin Citizens. The new plan takes effect at 8 AM tomorrow, March 25, 2020 and remains in effect until April 24, or until there is a superseding order. 

Wisconsin becomes the 17th state to implement similar orders as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US reaches 33,000. This is the 13th order issued by the Governor in response to the coronavirus crisis, and the first that has been criticized by Republican politicians in the state. Wisconsin has had 416 people made ill by the virus and claimed five lives. There have also been severe economic damages, including 33,000 people filing for unemployment benefits in a two-day period. This new order will certainly result in many more unemployment claims and economic pressure on businesses in the state. 

"I know the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. Issuing a Safer at Home order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do and it’s not something I take lightly, but here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously,” Evers said in a statement. “Each and every one of us has to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can flatten the curve to ensure our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work."

Under the new order, citizens may only leave their homes for essential travel:

• 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.

People who are working in essential businesses will not require special documentation to travel as long as they are working the essential businesses. Essential businesses include:

• Health care operations, including home health workers;

• Critical infrastructure;

• 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;

• Banks;

• 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.

All public and private gatherings of people  not from a single household are prohibited under the new order.

More detailed information on essential businesses is available in the order from DHS, which is attached below.

Enforcement of these new rules may be done by any law enforcement officer, including county sheriffs. Breaking the rules is punishable by a fine of $250 or up to 30 days of imprisonment.

This is a breaking story and may be updated later.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



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