Editor’s note: This press release contains updated information received after our papers were printed.
Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order makes exceptions for transportation, educational institutions, child care, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants and bars (can only offer take-out or delivery), grocery stores and convenience stores, utility facilities, job centers, and courts. Additionally, schools will be closed for the duration of the public health emergency.
Violation or obstruction of this order is punishable by imprisonment, fines, or both.
“Our top priority at this time is to keep Wisconsinites safe and healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who are considered high-risk. With limited tests available nationwide and continued community spread, we have to take every precaution to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors,” said Gov. Evers. “I know what this means for our small business owners and the struggles they and their workers will face in the coming weeks, but we are committed to working with our federal partners, state officials, and stakeholders to ensure we are doing everything we can to assist during these uncertain times.”
We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. This means that there are people who have tested positive who have no exposures to a known case nor did they travel to a location where there is known community spread. Today, we have cases in Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha counties indicating that there is community spread happening in Wisconsin. Social distancing will help keep you, your family, and our community from increased risk of exposure.
To read the latest information about COVID-19 please follow the Forest County Health Department Facebook page and visit the Department of Health Services website at: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov
Please call the Forest County Health Department with any questions at 715-478-3371.