Yesterday, April 16, 2020, Governor Evers’ issued an extension to his March 24, 2020 Safer-at-Home Order in an attempt to further “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 in the State of Wisconsin. While the intent of the Order is to loosen certain restrictions currently in place, it does impose additional requirements on business operations not found in the current order. Although it was issued yesterday, the Order does not go into effect until April 24, 2020 and remains in effect until May 26, 2020.
Some of the restrictions from the Governor’s original Order remain unchanged and can be viewed in our original Client Alert on the matter: https://buelowvetter.com/governor-evers-safer-at-home-order/
The following are areas of the Order that differ from the original Order and should be noted:
Schools: Public and private K-12 schools shall remain closed for pupil instruction and extracurricular activities for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
- Schools may continue to facilitate distance learning or virtual learning; and
- Schools may continue to be used for essential governmental functions and food distribution.
Businesses: The directive on “Minimum Basic Operations” has been expanded to address the following:
- Non-essential businesses and operations must determine which of their workers are necessary to conduct Minimum Basic Operations and inform such workers of that designation;
- Included now are nonessential deliveries, mailing parcels, or receiving parcels if all of the operations are performed by one person in a room or confined space. A signature may not be required by the recipient. Suppliers to and supply chains for nonessential businesses shall only operate under Minimum Basic Operations to provide goods or services to other nonessential businesses operating under the section;
- Curbside pickup of goods is permitted. Goods must be purchased online or by phone before pickup;
- Arts and craft stores may utilize curbside pickup for goods solely used for materials to make personal protective equipment (i.e., homemade facemasks); and
- Aesthetic or optional exterior residential construction and lawn care can occur, but is limited to one person. Work requiring more than one person on site is prohibited.
Travel: Essential travel remains mostly unchanged, however, individuals are strongly encouraged to remain at their primary residence or home, and travel to second homes, cottages, or residences should be avoided, if possible.
Parks: Public parks and open space may be closed at the discretion of the local health officials. Additionally, on April 10, 2020, Governor Evers directed the Department of Natural Resources to close nearly 40 state parks due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff. The list can be found here: https://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=5083
Public Places: Restrictions on public places of amusement and activity, whether indoors or outdoors, generally remain the same, except that public and private golf courses may open.
Libraries: Public libraries remain closed for all in-person services, but may provide online services and program, offer curbside pick of books and other library materials, distribute food, and perform any essential governmental function.
Essential Businesses: The Order provides guidance and directives on required safety measures, which includes the following:
- Essential Businesses must develop a COVID-19 plan.
- According to the Order, essential business and operations are encouraged to remain open, and while doing so, shall:
i. Restrict the number of workers present on premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform the essential operation.
ii. Increase standards of cleaning and disinfection
iii. Adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
Essential Businesses should work with legal counsel to develop a COVID-19 plan to address all the issues in the Order. School Districts should consult your legal counsel regarding how this Order effects your overall operations and pupil instruction. Continue to adhere to the social distancing requirements in your establishment and at your place of residence. Continue to follow the Department of Health Services and CDC guidelines.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding how this Order may affect your business or operations, or need assistance in developing policies and procedures related to your COVID-19 plan, please contact Saveon D. Grenell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 364-0313 or Joel S. Aziere at email@example.com or (262) 364-0250 or your Buelow Vetter attorney.