Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order will be extended through nearly the end of May, Evers directed on Thursday.
The coronavirus-response order, set to expire next Friday, will now go through May 26, unless it’s superseded by another order.
“We can’t think of this like flipping a light switch. It’s like turning a dial. The more disciplined we are now, the faster we can turn it,” Evers said.
As part of the order, all public and private K-12 schools in Wisconsin will remain closed for the rest of the school year. The order also clarifies that people are encouraged to stay close to home, not traveling to second homes or cabins. Public health officials in Northwoods counties have been especially concerned about out-of-the-area individuals and families coming to the region.
“We cannot do this work without you. We know this is hard,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Sec.-designee Andrea Palm. “What we are asking you to do disrupts your everyday life, your ability to see family and friends, your ability to work and to make ends meet. But this is what we need to do to save lives.”
The extended order includes a few changes.
Public libraries, which had been fully closed, can now offer curbside pickup of books. Golf courses are allowed to open, but tee times must be made online or by phone, and clubhouses cannot open. Some non-essential businesses will be allowed to do things like deliveries and mailings.
The extended order does not move the special congressional election in northern Wisconsin, which is scheduled for May 12.
We’ll “continue to keep a close eye” on it, said Ryan Nilsestuen, Evers’ chief legal counsel.
But Nilsestuen said there are several differences between May’s election and this month’s election, which went forward under protest. He pointed to expected lower voter turnout, lower infection numbers in northern Wisconsin, and more time to prepare.
You can read the full order here.