Evers considering making spring election mail-only

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers holds a press conference Feb. 6 in Madison. Evers says he will order the closure of all non-essential businesses starting Tuesday. He's also urging people to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' "safe-at-home" order, similar to shelter-in-place orders that other states have already issued, has been released. 

It takes effect 8 a.m. Wednesday and will last for four weeks - until 8 a.m. April 24 "or until a superseding order is issued," according to the order.

The order keeps "essential services" open, which include: health care and day care facilities, grocery stores and shops that sell medicine, food and beverage production, transportation, agriculture, restaurants and bars only for take-out and delivery services, "charitable and social services" organizations, media organizations, gas stations, financial institutions, hardware stores, "critical trades," mail and shipping services, laundromats, manufacturing and supply chains for critical products, hotels (with restrictions) and more. 

People can leave their houses to shop for groceries and medicine, deliver supplies to others, seek emergency services, visit a health care facility or engage in outdoor activity like walking, biking, hiking or running. People must try to keep a distance of six feet from each other when outside, and can't engage in "team or contact sports" like basketball, soccer or football, according to the order. Playgrounds will be closed.

People can also leave their homes to care for family members, friends or pets in other households, or to transport them.

Weddings, funerals and religious gatherings must have fewer than 10 people in a room or confined space at a time, and people must use social distancing rules as much as possible, according to the order.

Local law enforcement will enforce the order, including county sheriff's departments, according to the order. Violating the order could result in 30 days of imprisonment, up to a $250 fine or both.

Read Evers' full order and a list of "essential services" at evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO12-SaferAtHome.pdf.

Note: This story was updated to clarify the governor's order on restaurants and bars' ability to stay open during the order.