Safer at Home

A "Safer at Home" state order will be in effect as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, and will prohibit nonessential travel and business operations throughout the state.

The order, similar to the past order that closed bars and restaurants, and banned gatherings of 10 people or more, includes more clarifications and guidance what should be closed and what can remain open.

The order was directed by Gov. Tony Evers and issued by Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. It will be in effect through 8 a.m. on Friday, April 24, or until a superseding order is issued.

Individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with the order as to when it is permissible to leave home.

Essential operations and businesses are listed in Evers' executive order and can be viewed here. Essential business or operations do not need documentation or certification to continue work, if done in compliance with the order, such as limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people and maintaining social distancing.

The order specifies law enforcement officers, including county sheriffs, may enforce the order. Violation or obstruction of the order could result in up to 30 days imprisonment and up to $250 in fines.

Under this order, 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;

• 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.

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

• Staying home.

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