Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a Stay at Home order Tuesday to close non-essential businesses until April 24 to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

It also restricts residents from non-essential travel.

The order is effective at 8 am Wednesday, March 25 and will remain in effect until 8 am Friday, April 24, or until a superseding order is issued, according to a press release by the Evers’ office.

List of essential businesses, according to the WEDC

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We’ll also have resource maps around several topics, including how to help area businesses, tracking cases, and how to stay positive.

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But the shorter answer to which businesses should close might be better understood by answering the question of who is allowed to remain open.

“I know the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. Issuing a Safer at Home order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do and it’s not something I take lightly, but here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously,” said Gov. Evers. “Each and every one of us has to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can flatten the curve to ensure our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work.Let’s do our part and work together.”

We’ll add more to this breaking story.

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.

This is a breaking new story. We’ll be adding more to it throughout the day.


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Denise Lockwood

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