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MADISON — Standalone or strip-mall based retail stores will be able to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time under a new emergency order issued Monday by Governor Tony Evers.

The new order allows drive-in theaters to operate with some restrictions. But safety precautions and guidelines outlined in the Safer at Home order still need to be adhered to, according to a press release by the Governor’s office.

“In addition to added flexibilities and steps, we have already taken for businesses. This is another disciplined turn of the dial that will allow Wisconsin’s business owners to safely get back to work and Wisconsin consumers to support their favorite local spots,” Evers said. “Both customers and workers need to be confident in their safety, so we need everyone to be diligent in following best safety practices so we can continue to move our state forward while keeping our neighbors, families, and communities safe and healthy.” 

Somewhere between 20 and 60 percent of adults could contract the virus, and about a fifth of the people who get COVID-19 could need to be hospitalized, according to officials at the Harvard Global Health Institute.

The number of known cases is significantly less than predictive models. As of Sunday, May 11, the state reported 400 deaths and 10,219 positive cases of the 115,382 people tested in Wisconsin.

Health officials have voiced concerns that the spread of the virus could mean more significant numbers of people will need medical care. If that happens, hospitals will not be able to deal with a higher volume of patient care. The term flattening the curve refers to fewer people contracting the virus and having less of an impact on the state’s healthcare system.

The order represents a measured approach to re-opening the state. A prior order allowed golf courses to operate, aesthetic, and optional lawn and construction services performed by a single person. It also allowed for curbside pick-up for public libraries and for all businesses to provide deliveries, mailings, and curbside pick-up and drop-off services.

The order issued today goes into effect immediately.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.