MADISON — On Tuesday evening, Gov. Tony Evers signed a new executive order advising Wisconsinites to stay home and to stay safe to prevent the mitigation of COVID-19.
Evers signed Executive Order #94 advising all individuals to stay home as much as possible and only make trips when necessary, which include going to work, picking up groceries or refilling prescriptions.
"As you know, earlier this year, we took steps to contain COVID-19 by issuing a safer at home order," Evers said in his address. "We estimated then that our efforts would save between 300 and 1,400 lives. That order was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court—a decision that hamstrung our ability to respond to this virus by using the tools supported by science and public health experts.
Unfortunately, since then, Wisconsin has become a national hotspot," he added. "We once led our region in containing this virus, but now surges in our state rival what we saw in New York City this spring."
The order offers no new regulations, but rather is more of a call for unity by the governor.
"Now, as we put the election behind us, we are called upon to remember the things that unite us—and that includes the struggles that we share," Evers said "We must now return our undivided attention to the COVID-19 pandemic. We must start fighting this virus, together, and we must start tonight."
When leaving home for the necessities, the order urges individuals to continue to follow the following protocols:
- Avoid gatherings of any size between individuals who are not members of the same living unit or household, to the extent possible.
- Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals who are not members of the same living unit or household, to the extent possible.
- Wash hands often.
- Cover coughs.
- Frequently clean high touch surfaces and objects.
- Wear a face covering in compliance with Governor Evers'
- Emergency Order #1, issued September 22, 2020.
- Take available opportunities to provide material and emotional support to fellow Wisconsinites for whom staying home poses financial and psychological hardships.
Businesses have been "strongly encouraged" to take steps to protect staff, customers and communities by limiting the volume of staff and customers where applicable.
The order also address travel, which states that travel to second homes or residences should be avoided if possible.
"We’ve now surpassed, in deaths, the number of lives we projected we would have saved months ago if we would have been able to keep safer at home and reopen safely," Evers said. "2,395 Wisconsinites—mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends, and coworkers—have lost their lives, and I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. Unfortunately, they will not be the last.
"The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates 5,000 Wisconsinites could be lost to COVID-19 by January 1st if no further actions are taken to get this virus under control," he added. "That means another 2,500 people who might not be with us on New Year’s Day. Wisconsin, this is serious. This crisis is urgent."