Gov. Evers extends "Safer at Home" order until May 26
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Gov. Tony Evers announced today that the state's current "Safer At Home" order will be extended until May 26.
Evers' original "Safer at Home" order was put into effect at 8 a.m. on March 25 through 8 a.m. on April 24. However, while Wisconsin's projected coronavirus numbers have shrunk and the curve has flattened due to social distancing measures, there is still no cure or vaccine, and there is currently not enough in place to ensure that, if the state were to open and begin gathering in significant numbers again, a second COVID-19 outbreak and the repercussions of that second wave could be avoided.
"A few weeks ago, we had a pretty grim outlook for what COVID-19 could mean for our state, but because of the efforts of all of you, Safer at Home is working," said Evers in a release. "That said, we aren't out of the woods just yet. As I've said all along, we are going to rely on the science and public health experts to guide us through this challenge. So, as we extend Safer at Home, I need all of you to continue doing the good work you've been doing so we can keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and get through this storm together."
A few weeks ago, we had a pretty grim outlook for what COVID-19 could mean for our state, but safer at home is working, folks. Our data shows we have saved lives and we have helped flatten the curve, which has resulted in fewer cases and hospitalizations. #THREAD— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) April 16, 2020
"Before we lift Safer at Home, the steps of testing and more robust public health measures must be in place," added Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, in the announcement. "These steps will help us reduce the risk of a second wave of the virus. If we open up too soon, we risk overwhelming our hospitals and requiring more drastic physical distancing measures again."
The extended order features a few changes, however, including several changes to allow some businesses to open back up. While pro shops and clubhouses must remain closed, golf courses may open again – with restrictions, such as online or phone-only scheduling and paying – and public libraries may begin providing curbside pickup of books or other materials. Arts and crafts stores are also allowed to provide curbside pickup of materials to make face masks or PPE, while non-essential businesses can do more "minimal basic operations" like deliveries and curbside pickup, and aesthetic/optional exterior work is allowed as long as it can be done by a single person.
The order extension also officially closes public and private K-12 schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
While the "Safer at Home" order has been extended, it was also announced Thursday afternoon that Gov. Evers has begun organizing with the governors of six fellow Midwest states – Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Indiana – on how to coordinate re-opening all of the region's economies safely.
Illinois @GovPritzker announces regional pact with Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky. All of those states will coordinate a way to "reopen" their economies. @WGNNews #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/HdM3xA3zn3— Mike Lowe (@MikeLoweReports) April 16, 2020
To read the entire order, click here. And stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more coronavirus updates.
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