Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers released guidelines for reopening the state’s businesses yesterday. In a plan called “Badger Bounce Back,” Evers outlined benchmarks that will allow a phased reopening of businesses. The plan is based on the guidelines released by the White House last week.
Chief among the guidelines is a 14-day downward trajectory of COVID-19-like cases and positive tests, and the ability to treat all patients without crisis care and test all at-risk healthcare workers. Last week Evers extended Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order through May 26.
To re-start business activity, the plan calls for increased lab capacity and testing, increased contact tracing and support for isolation and quarantine, tracking the spread of COVID-19, increased health care capacity, and procurement of personal protective equipment.
“These metrics will be applied on a statewide basis as this highly infectious virus knows no county boundaries and can easily spread from regions with high prevalence to regions with low prevalence,” according to the plan.
The plan calls for 85,000 tests per week, or about 12,000 per day. Exact Sciences lab in Madison announced Monday that it is ready to process 20,000 tests per week, greatly expanding the state’s capacity.
Brown County cases continued to rise Monday, nearing 300 as an outbreak was traced to a Green Bay meatpacking plant. Door County has 9 cases, including one death and six recovered cases. Kewaunee reports 8 cases and one death. Wisconsin now reports 4,499 cases and 230 deaths related to the virus.
The state’s largest one-day increase was reported April 4, when 196 new cases were reported. Over the last seven days the state has reported 127, 166, 154, 170, 154, 147, and 153 new cases each day. For a breakdown of Wisconsin cases click here>>
Tavern League Pushes to Open Bars
The Tavern League of Wisconsin is calling for a “soft reopening” of the state’s taverns, restaurants and supper clubs on May 1. Evers said that would be a “tough row to hoe.”
The Tavern League lobbied hard in March not to close bars and restaurants before St. Patrick’s Day.
“We urge Governor Evers to adopt a responsible Safe at Work policy for Wisconsin’s hospitality industry and customers. Let’s work together to reopen Wisconsin’s taverns, restaurants and supper clubs while taking the important steps to protect the safety of employees and customers,” the league posted on its website, outlining the following guidelines for taverns:
- All employees required to wear masks and gloves
- Practice social distancing of 6 feet
- All tables 6 feet apart
- No tables of more than 6 people
- Reduce on premise capacity by 50 percent
- Outdoor eating and drinking with 6 feet distancing permitted
- No salad bars or self-serve buffets
- Eliminate paper menus
- Eliminate all table condiments