Wisconsin Shuts Non-Essential Businesses, Issues Stay at Home Directive

On March 24, 2020, Wisconsin Governor Evers issued the “Safer at Home” Order closing all Nonessential Wisconsin businesses until 8:00 a.m., Friday, April 24, 2020.  In addition, the order instructs citizens to stay at home, unless they need to leave to work at essential businesses, engage in essential travel, and a few other limited exceptions.

While businesses defined in the Governor’s Order as Essential Businesses and Operations are encouraged to remain open, Nonessential for-profit and non-profit businesses in Wisconsin have been instructed to cease all activities, except for minimal basic operations (e.g., maintaining inventory, preserving the business’s physical plant and equipment, processing payroll and employee benefits, etc.).

Businesses, including home-based businesses, may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own home or residences (i.e., working from home).

Businesses and operations defined as essential by the Governor’s Order shall comply with social distancing requirements.  The following categories of businesses can continue limited operations, according to the Governor’s Order:

  • Healthcare and Public Health Operations
  • Human Service Operations
  • Essential Infrastructure
  • Essential Governmental Functions
  • CISA List
  • Stores That Sell Groceries and Medicine
  • Food and Beverage Production and Agriculture
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Childcare Settings
  • Organizations That Provide Charitable and Social Services
  • Weddings, Funerals and Religious Entities
  • Funeral Establishments
  • Media
  • Gas Stations and Businesses Needed for Transportation
  • Financial Institutions and Services
  • Hardware and Supplies Stores
  • Critical Trades
  • Mail, Post, Shipping, Logistics, Delivery and Pick-up Services
  • Laundry Services
  • Businesses offering supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations and Essential Governmental Functions
  • Transportation
  • Home-Based Care and Services
  • Professional Services
  • Manufacture, Distribution and Supply Chain for Critical Products and Industries
  • Critical Labor Union Functions
  • Hotels and Motels
  • Higher Educational Institutions