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Statewide Shutdown Overruled; Businesses Start to Reopen

corona virus

Dear PIA of Wisconsin Members,

You have likely seen the news that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the extension of the state shutdown order by the state Health Department.  This means that businesses in much of the state may reopen.  However, some cities and counties have local health orders in place, similar to the Safer at Home order that was overturned.  Those local orders remain in effect.  Many are set to end in a week or two but could be extended into June or even longer.  More will be issued in the coming days.

At the moment, local shutdown orders exist in Dane Co., Rock Co., Brown Co., Outagamie Co., Green Co., Kenosha Co., City of Appleton, City of Milwaukee, City of Racine, City of De Pere and many Milwaukee suburbs.  Many counties are announcing that they do not intend to issue an order at all. Still, they expect citizens to continue to follow safety measures such as social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks in stores.

Watch for local government actions in your area, as you decide whether to reopen your business to public traffic.  Advise your clients to pay close attention to local government orders, as well.

For businesses that are able to reopen, it is important to have policies in place that spell out COVID-19 safety procedures for staff and customers.  These policies should be written down and distributed to staff, and signs made to instruct customers where appropriate.

Brief Summary of Federal Guidelines for Employers:

  • Develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with Federal, State, and local regulations and guidance, and informed by industry best practices, regarding:
    • Social distancing and protective equipment
    • Temperature checks
    • Sanitation
    • Use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas
    • Business travel
  • Monitor the workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to return to work until cleared by medical provider physically.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following employee COVID+ test.

WEDC Business Reopening Guidelines

What NOT to Do When You Reopen Your Business

CDC Guidance for Businesses & Employees

CDC Guidance for Sanitizing Public Areas

What to do if Your Employee is Sick or Tests Positive, from Axley Attorneys

Milwaukee, Madison, other localities have local shutdown orders in effect

U.S. Chamber Small Business Reopening Guide

*This information is provided for the convenience of PIA of Wisconsin members, but cannot not be construed as legal advice.

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