UPDATED: TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 10:57 A.M.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers will order the closure of all non-essential businesses starting Wednesday at 8 a.m., urging residents to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can read the complete order here. The order will last through April 24.
The governor had already ordered K-12 schools, bars and some other businesses closed, and had banned gatherings of more than 10 people. The new restrictions, mirroring what neighboring states Illinois and Michigan have announced, will further discourage people from interacting outside their household unless absolutely necessary.
“Shrinking your circle of interactions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Evers tweeted. “Unfortunately that means no sleepovers, no play dates, and no dinner parties with friends and neighbors.”
“You can still get out and walk the dogs—it’s good exercise and it’s good for everyone’s mental health—but please don’t take any other unnecessary trips, and limit your travel to essential needs like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries, or getting medication,” another tweet read.
In a statement, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele applauded the move. “I commend Governor Evers for taking aggressive action to combat the spread of COVID-19,” he wrote. “I am certain this decision was not an easy one, but the Governor’s order for Wisconsin residents to stay at home is the right thing to do to ensure we are protecting the health and well-being of our residents. I strongly encourage everyone in Milwaukee County to follow the guidelines and ensure the safety of their neighbors as we work to confront this pandemic. We must do what we can to support the people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, and those most vulnerable to its consequences.”