Evers ‘stay at home’ order takes effect at 8 am Wednesday

By: - March 24, 2020 11:32 am
"Sorry we're closed" sign

Closed sign photo by Nick Papakyriazis via Flickr 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A Safer At  Home order for Wisconsin will take effect as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday March 25, announced Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday morning. The order will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on April 24, unless a superseding order is given. 

“I know the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state.” said Evers. “Issuing a Safer at Home 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.” 

“Each and every one of us has to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can flatten the curve to ensure our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work,” the governor added. “Let’s all do our part and work together.”

Evers has used the term “stay at home” to be clear where people need to be. He named the order  Safer At Home, explaining that, while law enforcement is permitted to enforce the order, the state is not under martial law — rather, the emergency order keeps Wisconsinites safe and curbs infections while also giving health care institutions the best chance to stay caught up with caring for infected individuals. 

The order declares that individuals do not need permission slips or doctors’ orders to leave their homes, but they “must comply with this order as to when it is permissible to leave home.” Businesses considered essential under the order also do not need certification or documentation. 

Here is the list, order by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services of what Wisconsin residents are able to do:

  • 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.

Here is the list of businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order, (the list is not exhaustive and those businesses that are not clear where they stand are advised by the governor to contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Commission.) although this is not necessarily limited to these businesses: 

  • 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.

Places to monitor for updates on these orders include the DHS website or DHS on Facebook or Twitter @DHSWI or Instagram and the Centers for Disease Control website for nationwide updates.  


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Melanie Conklin
Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin was the Wisconsin Examiner's founding Deputy Editor, serving from its launch July 1, 2019, until Feb. 1, 2022. She is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications before returning to journalism at the Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.