Good news for nonessential businesses that want to offer curbside drop-off of goods or animals in the era of COVID-19 and “Safer At Home”: You can do that now!

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Monday that a newly signed emergency order “turns the dial a notch by allowing non-essential businesses to do more than they were able to do before.” The order goes into effect Wednesday, April 29, at 8 a.m.

A press release explains:

This will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses, and others to safely open. Today’s order also allows outdoor recreational rentals, such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs, and other similar recreational vehicles. Additionally, automatic or self-service car washes would be able to operate. All of these businesses must operate free of contact with customers by providing payment options online or over the phone, enact proper disinfecting practices, and operations must be able to be performed by one staff member.

“Safer At Home” remains in effect until May 26.

Here’s a full press release, followed by the full text of the new order:

Gov. Evers Announces Expanded Opportunities for Certain Nonessential Businesses

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers today announced the another turn of the dial in expanding allowed operations for nonessential businesses, providing even more opportunities for businesses to get back to work in a safe and responsible way.

The Emergency Order, signed today by Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, allows nonessential businesses to do curbside drop-off of goods and animals. This will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses, and others to safely open. Today’s order also allows outdoor recreational rentals, such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs, and other similar recreational vehicles. Additionally, automatic or self-service car washes would be able to operate. All of these businesses must operate free of contact with customers by providing payment options online or over the phone, enact proper disinfecting practices, and operations must be able to be performed by one staff member.

“No one wants to reopen our economy as much as I do, and we’re working to do everything we can to make sure we can do so as soon as we safely and responsibly can. That’s why today we announced a new order that, coupled with our Safer at Home order that went into effect last week, turns the dial a notch by allowing non-essential businesses to do more than they were able to do before,” said Gov. Evers. “This order means that every business across our state can do things like deliveries, mailings, curbside pick-up and drop-off, and it’s an important step in making sure that while folks are staying safer at home, they can also continue to support small businesses across our state.”

Today’s order builds upon the last turn of the dial. When the Safer at Home order was extended last week, a number of additional options were made available for businesses to safely serve the public, including:

• Golf courses were opened this past weekend;

• All businesses are allowed to offer curbside pick-up, allowing customers to purchase goods online or over the phone from a local store;

• Construction businesses can do aesthetic or optional construction work so long as it is performed by a single person;

• Public libraries can provide curbside pick-up of books and other library materials;

• Arts and crafts stores can offer expanded curbside pick-up of materials necessary to make face masks; and

• Landscaping businesses can do aesthetic or optional lawn care so long as it is done by a single employee.

Emergency Order #34 is available here and goes into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, 2020. If you have questions regarding Emergency Order #34, please review the frequently asked questions document available here.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, all essential and nonessential businesses must continue to follow social distancing and safety practices required under the Safer at Home order, available here. A document summarizing these safe business practices by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is available here. Businesses can visit WEDC.org for additional resources on taking the necessary steps to keep workers, businesses, and customers safe.

EMERGENCY ORDER #34
Interim Order to Turn the Dial

WHEREAS, in December, 2019, a novel strain of the coronavirus was detected, now named COVID-19, and it has spread throughout the world, including every state in the United States;

WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern;

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency and directed all agencies to support efforts to respond to and contain COVID-19 in Wisconsin;

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump proclaimed a National Emergency concerning COVID-19;

WHEREAS, as of April 26, 2020, 2,810,325 people around the world have tested positive for COVID-19, including 928,619 in the United States and 5,911 in Wisconsin;

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is present throughout Wisconsin, with people testing positive for COVID-19 in 66 of 72 counties as of April 26, 2020;

WHEREAS, on March 24, 2020, I, Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, issued Emergency Order# 12, Safer at Home Order (hereinafter “Safer at Home Order”), requiring that everyone in Wisconsin stay at their home or place of residence except in limited circumstances;

WHEREAS, on April 16, 2020, I modified and extended the Safer at Home Order to allow businesses new opportunities to get back to work and added new measures to keep employees and customers safer;

WHEREAS, on April 20, 2020, I issued the Badger Bounce Back, outlining a plan to turn the dial down on the Safer at Home Order with progressively less-restrictive phases triggered when we, as a state, meet the gating criteria and make progress towards our core public health responsibilities;

WHEREAS, the administration is constantly working to identify and promote creative ways to get Wisconsin back to business without risking the important progress we have made in flattening the curve and fighting the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the public health experts at the Department of Health Services, and leaders and innovators in the business community, the Department has identified areas where Wisconsin can turn the dial now; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with Section 3 of Emergency Order #31, Badger Bounce Back, this order reduces restrictions on certain businesses or sectors in a manner that is anticipated to have a minimal impact on the state’s ability to make progress towards its core responsibilities and meet its gating criteria.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Andrea Palm, Department of Health Services Secretary-designee, by the authority vested in me by the Laws of the State, including but not limited to Section 252.02(3), (4), and (6) of the Wisconsin Statutes, order the following:

1. Minimum Basic Operations. Minimum Basic Operations is defined by Section 14 of Emergency Order #28, Safer at Home Order, and shall additionally include the following:

a. Curb-side drop-off. Minimum Basic Operations may include customer curb-side drop-off of goods or animals for the purpose of having those goods or animals serviced, repaired, or cared for by the business. Staff within the business or facility must be limited to one person in a room or confined space at a time, including a car or truck. Services must be paid for on-line or by phone. Drop-offs and pick-ups must be scheduled ahead of time to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in section 16 of the Safer at Home Order. Customers are not permitted in the business or facility. The business may not require a signature by the customer. Suppliers to non-essential businesses and supply chains for non-essential businesses are non-essential and shall only operate under Minimum Basic Operations to provide goods or services to other non-essential businesses operating under this section.

b. Outdoor recreational rentals. Minimum Basic Operations may include rental of recreational equipment including but not limited to boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, golf carts, snowmobiles, and ATVs. Staff within the business or facility must be limited to one person in a room or confined space at a time, including a car or truck. Rentals must be paid for on-line or by phone. The business must schedule pick-up and drop-off ahead of time to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in section 16 of the Safer at Home Order. Customers must remain outside the business or facility. Rented equipment must be cleaned after each use. Suppliers to non-essential businesses and supply chains for non-essential businesses are non-essential and shall only operate under Minimum Basic Operations to provide goods or services to other non-essential businesses operating under this section.

c. Car washes. Entirely automatic car washes and self-service car washes may open for service. High-touch surfaces must be cleaned between each use if possible, or as frequently as practicable.

2. Safer at Home and Badger Bounce Back remains in effect. Emergency Orders #28 and #31 remain in effect and are modified only by the specific additions described in this Order.

3. Duration. This Order shall become effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. This Order shall remain in effect for the duration of the Safer at Home Order.

4. Severability. If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, then the remainder of the Order, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Order are severable.

5. Supremacy. This Order supersedes any local order that is in conflict with this order.

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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