Wisconsin, Michigan Governors To Order People To Stay Home, Close Businesses

Mar 23, 2020

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.
Credit State of Wisconsin

Gov. Tony Evers is ordering people to stay home, and is closing non-essential businesses, in Wisconsin’s most drastic step yet to slow COVID-19.

Evers’ order will take effect Tuesday.

He’s calling the program Safer At Home, a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Friday, Evers said he didn’t anticipate having to take such measures.  But that changed over the weekend, and Evers previewed the order in a virtual press conference on Monday.

“Issuing a Safer At Home order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do.  It’s not something I wanted to do.  It’s not something I take lightly,” he said.  “We’re all in this together, and we need to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Evers ordered people to stay home for all but the essentials.

“You can still go out and take a walk, go for a bike ride, [or] walk the dogs.  It’s good exercise, and it’s good for everybody’s mental health.  But please don’t take any other unnecessary trips, and limit your travel to essential needs, like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries, or getting medication,” he said.

In numbers released Monday afternoon, the state Department of Health Services showed 416 people have now tested positive for the virus, including five deaths.

The closest positive test to the Northwoods remains in Marathon County.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Credit State of Michigan

On Monday morning, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered people to stay in their homes unless they’re part of critical-infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.  

The order takes effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.

Whitmer directed Michigan businesses to suspend in-person operations, unless those operations are necessary to protect or sustain life.

The order is in effect for at least the next three weeks.