MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – After Wisconsin added 100 positive cases of coronavirus between Saturday and Sunday, bringing the state total to 381, Governor Tony Evers says he will issue a ‘Safer At Home’ order on Tuesday, March 24.
“Over the past few days, I’ve talked with public health experts and with business leaders and local elected officials around the state. Overwhelmingly the response I heard is that we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Gov. Evers said in a Monday morning Twitter thread. “I know this has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. That’s why issuing a #SaferAtHome 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.”
Gov. Evers goes on to say that people across the state are “still out and about unnecessarily” and “putting our friends, our neighbors, and our communities at risk.”
The governor goes on to say that workers providing essential care or services will still be allowed to work.
“That includes folks like healthcare professionals, grocers, family caregivers, among other people whose work is critical for folks across our state.”
More details regarding this order are expected to be released soon, according to Gov. Evers.
“I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to prepare and plan ahead so you can help do your part to keep our friends, neighbors, and communities safe.”
On Friday, March 20, Gov. Evers announced during a media briefing that he didn’t believe a statewide shelter in place order was necessary, citing that he trusted Wisconsinsites to heed his previous orders to slow the spread of the virus.
The same day, Gov. Evers directed Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue updates to the previous order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 or more people. This resulted in the closure of hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities.
Days earlier, on Wednesday, March 18, Gov. Evers ordered Sec. Palm to restrict the size of all child care settings, limiting centers to operate with no more than 10 staff members present at a time and no more than 50 children present.
Gov. Evers added that day that he had submitted a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance for small Wisconsin businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, Gov. Evers announced that request was approved, allowing small businesses and non-profits access to low-interest federal disaster loans.
On Wednesday, March 18, Gov. Evers enacted a ban on mass gatherings of 50 or more people. The ban, replaced the next day with a ban on gatherings of 10 or more, caused bars and restaurants to close their doors and either transition to take-out and delivery options or suspend business altogether.