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Another turn of the dial comes for Wisconsin business

Gov. Tony Evers has announced another turn of the dial on the Safer at Home order, to add even more opportunities for Wisconsin businesses to get back to work, in a safe and responsible way.

Emergency Order 36, signed by Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) secretary-designee Andrea Palm May 11, allows all stand alone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time, while maintaining required social distancing practices.

Additionally, the order allows drive-in theaters to operate with some restrictions. All businesses must continue to follow all safety precautions and guidelines as outlined in the Safer at Home order.

“In addition to added flexibilities and steps we have already taken for businesses, this is another disciplined turn of the dial that will allow Wisconsin’s business owners to safely get back to work and Wisconsin consumers to support their favorite local spots,” said Evers. “Both customers and workers need to be confident in their safety, so we need everyone to be diligent in following best safety practices, so we can continue to move our state forward, while keeping our neighbors, families and communities, safe and healthy.”

The order builds upon Safer at Home and the last turn of the dial through Emergency Order 34, which together, allowed golf courses to operate, aesthetic and optional lawn and construction services provided by a single employee, curbside pick-up for public libraries and every business to provide deliveries, mailings, and curbside pick-up and dropoff services.

Emergency Order 36 goes into effect immediately. To help stay safe, business owners can access brochures that include general guidelines for all businesses to follow, as well as industry-specific advice restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, professional offices, farmers, manufacturers, builders, hotel and motel operators, barbers, personal care services and other fields.

“Wisconsin businesses have done a great job in adapting to our state’s Safer at Home order,” said Evers. “As we begin to ‘turn the dial,’ they need to know how to reopen safely so that employees and customers can feel confident when they return.”

The guides were developed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), in consultation with the Departments of Health Services, Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and Tourism, as well as industry experts and associations.

“What these guides really aim to do, is provide actionable advice for businesses, especially small businesses, as they begin the road back to reopening,” said WEDC secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “The guides answer basic questions, such as how to handle transactions at cash registers, what to do about merchandise that’s been handled by customers and how to set up an office using social distancing strategies.”

Some of the general advice for businesses includes making sure employees who are sick don’t come to work; curtailing business travel whenever possible; promoting telecommuting or other work-from-home arrangement; and making sure employees have access to sanitizers and personal protective equipment when appropriate.

Evers said the reopening of state businesses will continue to be guided by the healthcare metrics contained in the Badger Bounce Back plan, which includes tracking new cases of COVID-19, assessing available medical resources to cope with COVID cases, and ensuring adequate testing and mitigation resources.

Copies of the instructional brochures are available at