Gov. Evers Releases “Safer at Home Order”

Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home Order was released today. Effective 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2020, until April 24, 2020, individuals present in the state of Wisconsin are ordered to stay at home and non-essential business and operations must cease, with a long list of exceptions (discussed more below).  Public and private gatherings of any number of people outside of a single household are prohibited, and schools, libraries, places of public amusement, salons, and spas are ordered closed. Travel other than essential travel is prohibited.

What are the Exceptions?

There are many exceptions to the above prohibitions. For example, people may leave their residences to obtain health care, pick up medication, seek essential veterinary care, and obtain human services such as shelter care and social services. They may leave to obtain necessary services and supplies such as food and household products, and they may leave to engage in outdoor activities, such as walking and biking, as long as they stay at least 6 feet away from others outside their household. They may also leave their home to care for family members, friends, or pets, and to go to work at one of the types of businesses listed as an exception to the general order.

While weddings, funerals, and religious gatherings may continue, they must be limited to fewer than 10 people in a room or confined space at a time.

Which Businesses are Considered Essential?

A number of types of businesses, considered essential by the state, may continue. These include businesses involved in: health care; food production, distribution, and sale; sale of medications; building and construction; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities; public transportation; distribution centers; solid waste and recycling; telecommunications; funeral services; financial services; sale of hardware and supplies; laundry; essential supplies such as paper and paper products; home-based care; and professional services such as legal, insurance, real estate, and accounting.

Restaurants are required to close, though they may remain open for take-out or delivery services. Bars are also required to close, other than for carryout sales that are otherwise permitted by state and local law.

For all businesses allowed to continue operations, the order requires employees to work from home to the extent possible and to engage in social distancing (including maintaining six feet between people, washing hands for at least 20 seconds, and regular cleaning of high touch surfaces) as much as possible.

What Can I Do If I Believe My Business Should Be Listed as Essential?

If a business believes it should be included in the list of exceptions but is not, it may apply to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to request such a designation.

Violations of the order can result in up to 30 days imprisonment and a fine of up to $250.

For help determining whether your business is exempted from this order, or for help applying for an exception, please contact us at 920-882-4070. We remain ready to help you as we work remotely.

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Lora L. Zimmer

Health Law and Title IX Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Lora focuses her practice in corporate and business transactions, with a particular focus on the business and regulatory needs of health care clients. In addition, Lora is a trained Title IX investigator, providing prompt, thorough investigations and objective reporting in response to alleged violations of schools’ sexual misconduct policies.