The COVID-19 crisis equally impacts public health and the economy. While closing down businesses and organizations happened quickly to facilitate social distancing measures, reopening the economy is a slower process - more akin to turning a dial than flipping a switch.
Today, Governor Evers provided more clarity to that process by announcing Wisconsin's "
Badger Bounce Back
," plan, which outlines what elements need to be in place in order for businesses to reopen. Reopening will take place in phases, in
with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
Phases of Reopening
Issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm,
Emergency Order #31
outlines the phases of a safe return to business (following Safer At Home, which was recently extended to May 26):
- Phase 1:
- Allowing gatherings of up to 10 people
- Restaurants opening with social distancing requirements
- Removal of certain restrictions, including retail restrictions for Essential Businesses and Operations
- Additional operations for non-essential businesses
- K-12 schools resuming in-person operation
- Child-care settings resuming full operation
- Phase 2:
- Allowing gatherings of up to 50 people
- Restaurants resuming full operation
- Bars reopening with social distancing requirements
- Non-essential businesses resuming operations with social distancing requirements
- Postsecondary education institutions may resume operation
- Phase 3: Resume all business activity and gatherings, with minimal protective and preventative measures in place for the general public and more protective measures for vulnerable populations.
Public Health Criteria Needed to Move Through the Phases
The safety of reopening businesses is based on public health progress toward the following "Core Responsibility" goals:
- Every Wisconsin resident who has symptoms of COVID-19 has access to a lab test, with an ultimate goal of approximately 12,000 tests per day.
- A key outcome [gate] of this testing is a decrease in influenza-like illnesses and positive COVID-19 tests for a 14-day period.
- More details about what Wisconsin is doing to increase COVID-19 testing capacity.
- Tracing: Increase contact tracing and implement technology solutions to ensure everyone who is infected or exposed will safely isolate.
- Tracking: Building on systems used to track influenza, track the spread of COVID-19 and report on the Wisconsin Gating Criteria (outlined in Emergency Order #31) and other related metrics.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Procure PPE and other necessary supplies to support health care and public safety agencies.
- Health Care Capacity: Assess the need for and readiness to support surge capacity for our healthcare system.