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Gov. Tony Evers orders statewide ban of all public gatherings of 10 or more

Posted: 1:49 PM, Mar 17, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-17 15:53:40-04
Election 2020 Democrats Blue Wall

MADISON, Wis. -- Gov. Tony Evers has ordered a ban on all public gatherings of 10 people or more statewide due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The directive builds on a previous order from the governor's office to limit all public gatherings to 50 people or fewer in Wisconsin. It will begin at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. Hours after that edict was released, the majority of Milwaukee County municipalities late Monday nightopted to close all restaurants and bars, except for carryout and delivery services. Now that change is poised to sweep across the entire state.

The new order makes exceptions for transportation, educational institutions, child care, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants and bars that can only offer take-out or delivery, grocery stores and convenience stores, utility facilities, job centers, and courts.

Evers says the new order will be enforced by police. Failure to comply with a health order may carry a $250 fine and/or imprisonment for 30 days

“Our top priority at this time is to keep Wisconsinites safe and healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who are considered high-risk. With limited tests available nationwide and continued community spread, we have to take every precaution to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors,” said Gov. Evers. “I know what this means for our small business owners and the struggles they and their workers will face in the coming weeks, but we are committed to working with our federal partners, state officials, and stakeholders to ensure we are doing everything we can to assist during these uncertain times.”

You can read the full order below:

The news comes as the number of positive cases in Wisconsin continues to expand. As of Tuesday afternoon, 72 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.

That's an increase of 25 from Monday, when the total stood at 47.

Here's the latest county-by-county breakdown:

Wisconsin CountyTotal Cases
Dane*19
Fond du Lac11
Kenosha*4
Milwaukee*24
Outagamie1
Pierce1
Racine1
Sheboygan3
Waukesha4
Winnebago3
Wood1
Total72

Check back often for updates on this developing story.

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