It’s Official: Wisconsinites Ordered To Stay Home Starting 8 a.m. Wednesday

Mar 24, 2020

Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR

The “Safer at Home” order directed by Gov. Tony Evers is now official and will take effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

The order prohibits all nonessential travel, and closes nonessential businesses, in Wisconsin.

It will stay in effect until Apr. 24, unless it’s superseded.  The full order is here.

It’s the most drastic step the state has taken in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

“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,” said Evers 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.  Let’s all do our part and work together.”

According to the order, people in Wisconsin are able to leave home 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.

Several types of businesses are exempted from the order, including, but not limited to:

  • 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.

As of Monday afternoon, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services had reported 416 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state, including five deaths.  The closest positive result to the Northwoods remained in Marathon County.