MADISON, WI- No gatherings of more than 10, and bars and restaurants are limited to delivery and carry out only now, that’s on the order of Governor Tony Evers. The move comes as the number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus rose overnight from 46 to 72.
Governor Evers issued those guidelines due to what officials now say is community spread of the virus in parts of the state.
“We are seeing comunity spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said on a Tuesday press call. “This means that there are people who have tested positive who have had no exposure to a known case.”
Community spread has been detected in Milwaukee, Dane, and Kenosha Counties.
The orders take effect at 5:00 pm on Tuesday. They will be enforced by local authorities.
“What we’re saying here is this: stay home if you can,” said the Governor.
The closure of schools has also been extended until further notice. Schools are set to officially close tomorrow and were originally set to reopen in April.
DHS Secretary Designee Andrea Palm says the measures are in place for a good reason: controlling the spread so that the state healthcare system doesn’t become overwhelmed by an influx of patients seeking care.
“We know this will further disrupt your lives,” said Palm. “But this is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of our healthcare system.”
The number of infected is changing ‘by the hour’ according to Bureau of Infectious Diseases Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard. He says many people likely have it who have yet to show symptoms.
“What we’ve learned about the virus is that people can be quite contagious in the period before they develop symptoms,” Westergaard said. “We need to make sure that, in general, people keep distance between themselves.”
The state is now capable of processing about 400 tests per day. Officials say they’ve been receiving “substantially higher” numbers of specimens in recent days.