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COVID-19 Update: Governor Evers Signs "Safer in Home" Order - Effective March 25


Gov. Tony Evers issued his “Safer at Home” order. The order goes into effect at 8:00am on Wednesday, March 25 and stays in place until 8:00am on Friday, April 24. According to the order, “All individuals present within the State of Wisconsin are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence,” with some exceptions.

The full order can be read by clicking here.

To hear a webinar about the order from WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, click here. 

A summary of the order is below:

The order prohibits all forms of travel, except for what is deemed “Essential Travel” to a workplace defined as essential, to care for elderly and other vulnerable persons, to return to a place of residence, as required by law enforcement and other definitions.

Gov. Evers has order all non-essential businesses and operations to cease.

Business and organizations allowed to stay open include those related to health care and public health operations; human service operations like long-term care facilities; essential infrastructure like food production, distribution and fulfillment centers; construction required in response to the public health emergency; and manufacturing that supports essential services; among others that are exempted.

Key Definitions

Individuals may leave their home or residence to perform any of the following:

  • To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members
  • To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others
  • To engage in outdoor activity, including visiting public and state parks, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements
  • To perform work at essential businesses or operations
  • To care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household

Essential Businesses


Gov. Evers’ order defines essential businesses, and they include health care and public health operations, human service operations, essential infrastructure and essential government functions. His order also outlines exceptions for the following types of businesses:

Please note the list below is a summary and you should read the governor’s full order for more details or clarification.

  • Any business or worker identified in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response, updated March 23, 2020, and any subsequent versions of this Memorandum
  • Manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitation, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communications, and products used by other Essential Governmental Functions and Essential Businesses and Operations.
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food and beverage production, transport, and agriculture
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial institutions and services
  • Restaurants and Bars with specific exceptions
  • Hardware and supplies stores
  • Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and other trades
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations and Essential Governmental Functions
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, insurance services, real estate services

For businesses that do not meet the requirements set forth in the order as “essential,” there is an option to apply to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) requesting a designation as essential. That can be done by visiting .

Please note that the summary above is just that, a summary. For full details, please reference Gov. Evers’ “Safer at Home” order at the link above.