MADISON – Today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued an extension to the Safer at Home order in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The extended order will run through May 26, 2020 and includes new provisions, including new allowances for essential and non-essential business operations, lawn care and construction, and more. Rep. Neubauer released the following statement:
“While continuing Safer at Home is difficult for everyone in our community, I appreciate the thoughtful approach Governor Evers and Secretary-Designee Palm are taking to prioritize the health and safety of our most vulnerable community members while giving businesses more ability to resume work. During this unprecedented crisis, our top priority must be ensuring public health and safety. Public health experts and leading health care providers agree that the most effective thing we can do as a state to keep our community healthy and safe is to stay home.
“I recognize that this is a time of uncertainty and anxiety for many businesses and families, and I share those frustrations. COVID-19 is a public health crisis and an economic crisis. I am pleased that this order has new allowances aimed at helping many Wisconsin businesses, including allowing mailings, curbside pickup, and delivery as “Minimum Basic Operations,” as well as landscaping and outdoor construction for homes, so more of our small businesses can resume some of their work safely.
“Our economic recovery is directly tied to public health, and the faster we can slow the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can safely re-open the economy. Without a cure, vaccine, or effective treatment for COVID-19, we will all must continue to adapt and protect our vulnerable neighbors.
“To safely reopen our economy during COVID-19, we need wide scale testing and contact tracing available across the state to contain this epidemic in the months ahead. DHS is making great progress in increasing testing capacity, but the US is still far behind other countries that are closer to being able to gradually open things up.
A list of new provisions in the extended Safer at Home order is below:
- Schools: Public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
- Public libraries: Libraries may provide curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials.
- Golf courses: Golf courses may open, with restrictions including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed.
- Local parks and open space: Local health officials may close public parks and open spaces if it becomes too difficult to ensure social distancing or the areas are being mistreated.
- Safe business practices for Essential Businesses and Operations: Essential Businesses and Operations must increase cleaning and disinfection practices, ensure that only necessary works are present, and adopt policies to prevent workers exposed to COVID-19 or symptomatic workers from coming to work.
- Safe business practices for retailers that are Essential Businesses and Operations: Retail stores that remain open to the public as Essential Businesses and Operations must limit the number of people in the store at one time, must provide proper spacing for people waiting to enter, and large stores must offer at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations.
- Non-essential businesses: Non-essential businesses can do more things as Minimum Basic Operations, including deliveries, mailings, and curb-side pick-up. Non-essential businesses must notify workers of whether they are necessary for the Minimum Basic Operations.
- Arts and craft stores: Arts and craft stores may offer expanded curb-side pick of materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Supply chain: Essential Businesses and Operations that are essential because they supply, manufacture, or distribute goods and services to other Essential Businesses and Operations can only continue operations that are necessary to those businesses they supply. All other operations must continue as Minimum Basic Operations.
- Aesthetic or optional exterior work: Aesthetic or optional exterior lawn care or construction is allowed, so long as it can be done by one person.
- Travel: People are strongly encouraged to stay close to home, not travel to second homes or cabins, and not travel out of state if it is not necessary.
- Tribal Nations: Tribal Nations are sovereign over their territory and can impose their own restrictions. Non-tribal members should be respectful of and avoid non-essential travel to Tribal territory. Local government must coordinate, collaborate, and share information with Tribal Nations.
- Duration: The changes in this order go into effect on April 24. The order will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on May 26, 2020.