Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

© Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin Issues ‘Safer At Home’ Order (March 25 – April 24); Here's What's Essential

Non-essential travel, business, and social interactions are to stop

March 24, 2020

Governor Tony Evers has directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to issue the ‘Safer At Home’ Order from 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 25 through 8:00 am on Friday, April 24 (or until a superseding order is issued).

According to the order, “this is a critical moment in Wisconsin and we must all do our part to cease non-essential travel, business, and social interactions.” It’s time for everyone that can do so, to stay at home or their respective place of residence to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Related: The Latest on Coronavirus

The order also states that “all public and private gathers of any number of people that are not part of a single household or living unit are prohibited.”

So, what is considered an essential exception (see the more detailed list under “special situations” and “definitions” of the 'Safer At Home' Order)?

  • Healthcare and Public Health Operations (i.e. hospitals, pharmaceuticals, mental health providers…)
  • Human Service Operations (i.e. food assistance, child/adult care…)
  • Essential Infrastructure (i.e. operation and maintenance of utilities including water, sewer, gas, and electric…)
  • Essential Activities
    • Health and Safety (i.e. obtaining medical supplies or medications, seeking emergency services, visiting a health care or behavioral health care professional…)
    • Necessary supplies and services (i.e. grocery shopping…)
    • Outdoor Activity (i.e. while complying with social distancing of staying at least six feet apart – walking, biking, hiking, running…)
    • Certain types of work (i.e. obtaining supplies needed to work from home…)
    • Take care of others (i.e. to care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household…)
  • Essential Government Functions (i.e. law enforcement, EMS, firefighters…)
  • Essential Businesses and Operations
    • Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) List
    • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
    • Food and beverage production, transport, and agriculture
    • Restaurants that offer take-out or delivery service only
    • Bars that offer carryout sales of alcohol beverages and food (if permitted by state law and municipal ordinance)
    • Child care settings for children up to 13 years of age (unless specifically licensed for children with disabilities up to 19 years of age); child care settings shall prioritize care for certain families (see 13.f.i. of the order)
    • Organizations that provide charitable and social services (i.e. food banks and pantries…)
    • Weddings, funerals, and religious entities (while adhering to social distancing requirements as much as possible and limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people)
    • Funeral establishments (while adhering to social distancing requirements as much as possible and limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people)
    • Media (i.e. newspaper, television, radio…)
    • Gas stations and business needed for transportation (i.e. gas stations, auto repair…)
    • Financial institutions and services (i.e. banks, credit unions…)
    • Hardware and supplies stores (i.e. businesses that sell electrical, plumbing, heating, and construction material…)
    • Critical Trades (i.e. plumbers, electricians, HVAC, cleaning and janitorial staff…)
    • Mail, post, shopping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services (i.e. post office, food delivery…)
    • Laundry services (i.e. laundromats, dry cleaners…)
    • Supplies to work from home
    • Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations and Essential Government Functions
    • Transportation (i.e. airlines, taxis, Uber, Lyft…)
    • Home-based care and services (i.e. traveling caregivers or nannies, home-based care for children/adults…)
    • Professional services (i.e. legal or accounting services… while using technology as much as possible and avoid meeting in person)
    • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries (i.e. pharmaceutical, sanitation, waste pickup…)
    • Critical labor union functions (i.e. administration of health and welfare funds…)
    • Hotels and motels (while complying to requirements within the order and closing shared facilities like pools, hot tubs, and exercise facilities)
    • Higher educational institutions (for purposes of facilitating distance learning…)
    • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) designated businesses (see order)
  • Minimum Basic Operations (i.e. processing payroll…)
  • Essential Travel (i.e. access to essential activities, special situations, any exceptions details within the order…)

That’s quite the list, I encourage you to read the ‘Safer At Home’ Order in its entirety. If you choose not to follow this order, you could be punished with up to 30 days of imprisonment, or up to a $250 fine (or both).

So, rather than being locked up for 30 days, follow the guidelines and you can stay isolated from the security of your own home.

Related: SE WI Restaurants Open for Take-Out or Delivery

Looking for more information or want to provide additional details? Hit me up on social media at @JMattMke (same handle on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok)!


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