Gov. Tony Evers has directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 50 people or more statewide to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
This order is effective on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency declared by Executive Order #72 or until a superseding order is issued. This order includes any gatherings at locations such as public or private schools, theaters, museums, stadiums, conference rooms, meeting halls, taverns, health and fitness centers, and places of worship.
Critical infrastructure and services such as grocery stores, food pantries, childcare centers, pharmacies, and hospitals are exempt from this order. Restaurants and bars are required to operate at less than 50 percent capacity or have fewer than 50 people, whichever is less.
“While it was a difficult decision knowing the impacts on communities, families, workers, and businesses across our state, I believe limiting gatherings to less than 50 people is another critical step we can take in slowing and reducing the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Evers. “Keeping folks safe and healthy has to be our top priority during this crisis.”
Decisions about the implementation of other community measures will be made by state and local officials based on CDC and DHS guidance, as well as the scope of the outbreak.