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Safer at home order: Here’s where you can and cannot go

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Tony Evers today signed a stay at home order that he's calling, "Safer at Home."

The order is effective at 8 a.m. on Weds., March 25, 2020 and will remain in effect until 8 a.m. Fri., April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. 

Individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with this order as to when it is permissible to leave home.

Similarly, if a business is an Essential Business or Operation as defined in this order, it does not need documentation or certification to continue its work that is done in compliance with this order.

(READ THE FULL ORDER HERE.)

Under this order, Wisconsin residents are able to:

  • 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.

Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include, but are not limited to:

  • 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.
  • The order contains detailed information regarding the exemptions provided to certain businesses. If a business is unsure about whether or not they are exempted from this order, please contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation here.

The public should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

  • Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house);
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;
  • Covering coughs and sneezes;
  • Avoiding touching your face;
  • Stay home.

The order contains detailed information regarding the exemptions provided to certain businesses. If a business is unsure about whether or not they are exempted from this order, please contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation here

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage you and the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

The orders is similar to a "shelter in place" to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which orders people to stay home and requires nonessential businesses to close.

"Issuing a safer at home order isn't something I thought we had to do," Evers said Monday. "The experts and the scientists made it clear this is the way to solve this problem."

People can still leave their homes but the governor is encouraging people to only do so if they need food, medicine, to visit a doctor or exercise.

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