State of Wisconsin Extends Safer at Home Order

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April 16, 2020

This afternoon, Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued Emergency Order #28 (the “Extended Order”), an extension to Emergency Order #12 released on March 24th (the “Original Order”). The full text of the Extended Order can be accessed here.

The Original Order remains in effect until 8:00 AM on April 24th, at which time the Extended Order takes effect. The Extended Order is similar to the Original Order but also has some important modifications and new provisions.

New provisions include the following:

  • Essential Businesses and Operations must 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 and Operations must increase standards of facility cleaning and disinfection to limit worker and patron exposure to COVID-19, as well as adopting protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.
  • The definition of Minimum Basic Operations for Non-Essential Businesses and Operations is expanded to include (in addition to activities included in the Original Order):
    • Fulfilling non-essential deliveries, mailing parcels, or receiving parcels if all of the operations are performed by 1 person in a confined room or space, including a car or truck.
    • Curb-side pickup of goods, if all of the operations are performed by 1 person in a confined room or space, including a car or truck. Goods must be purchased online or by phone before pickup. Pickups must be scheduled to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.
    • Aesthetic or optional exterior residential construction and lawn care if all the operations are performed by 1 employee. No more than 1 employee may be on the site at a time.
  • Essential Businesses and Operations that remain open for in-person sales must:
    • For stores with less than 50,000 square feet of customer floor space, limit the number of people in the store (including employees) to 25% of the total occupancy limits established by the local municipality.
    • For stores with more than 50,000 square feet of customer floor space, limit the number of customers in the store at one time (excluding employees) to 4 people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space and offer at least 2 hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations include people over 60, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
    • Establish lines (or alternatives to lines) to regulate entry in accordance with the above restrictions with markings to enable customers to stand at least 6 feet apart.
  • K-12 schools must remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year (with the exception of distance and virtual learning).
  • Golf courses may open with restrictions, including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only.

The Extended Order runs until 8:00 AM on May 26th. In addition to reading the full text of the Extended Order (the above summary of the changes is not exhaustive), businesses and individuals should also consult the State’s updated Safer at Home FAQs. The FAQs continue to add specific businesses and industries that are or are not deemed essential.

Ruder Ware’s COVID-19 Focus Team is ready to assist with any questions that may arise.

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Amy E. Ebeling

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