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Gov. Evers issues “stay at home” order

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday ordered a stay at home policy on Tuesday with an exemption for only “essential” businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order will temporarily close many for-profit and not-for profit businesses, including gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, barbershops, bars, restaurants, salons, tanning facilities and manufacturers of non-essential products. Travel is banned except for essential functions.

The order includes a long list of exempted essential businesses and and organizations. These are, in part, medical facilities, including hospitals, doctor’s clinics, pharmacies, mental health agencies, eye care centers, dental offices and drug rehab centers, grocery stores and businesses that make or distribute food and beverage products, animal shelters and kennels, farms and farm equipment repair centers, funeral homes and hospices, banks and credit unions, hardware stores, critical trades, including plumbers, carpenters and electricians, laundromats and dry cleaners, hotels and motels, oil and biofuel refineries, media, construction businesses in housing and other essential areas, airports and utilities.

In other pandemic developments:

_ Federal and state income tax filing deadlines have been pushed back from April 15 to July 15.

_ Gov. Evers has suspended Department of Public Instruction mandates on local schools to provide minimum hours of instruction and to give standardized tests to students.

_ Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable has ordered insurance companies to cover restaurants who provide take out and delivery food.

_ The Wisconsin State Supreme Court ordered all in-person court proceedings, including jury trials, be postponed through May 22. State courts will remain open, but officials must use e-mail, teleconferencing and video conferencing through April 30.

_ Gov. Tony Evers has ordered that the Wisconsin prison system will admit no new inmates.