MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today reminded Wisconsinites to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), urging the public to stay home as much as they are able.  

“Social distancing not only protects you and your family from increased exposure to COVID-19, but it protects our healthcare professionals, direct care providers, and others who are on the frontlines serving our communities during this pandemic,” said Gov. Evers. “We need these workers who are providing essential services to stay healthy so they can continue to care for and serve our state. While I know the COVID-19 outbreak has caused many disruptions to your daily life, your help will go a long way in protecting the health and safety of our state.”

With limited testing materials available nationwide, Gov. Evers encourages those who are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms to stay home and self-isolate. This will help conserve testing materials for those who are severely ill and require hospitalization or are considered high-risk individuals. This also helps reduce exposure to the virus for our healthcare professionals. 

On Thurs., March 12, 2020, the governor signed Executive Order #72 that directs DHS to take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent and respond to incidences of COVID-19. It allows DHS to purchase, store, or distribute appropriate medications, regardless of insurance or other health coverage, as needed to respond to the emergency. It also authorizes state funds to support local health departments with costs related to isolation and quarantine, as well as the use of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Decisions about the implementation of other community measures will be made by state and local officials based on CDC and DHS guidance, as well as the scope of the outbreak.

People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;
Covering coughs and sneezes;
Avoiding touching your face; and
Staying home.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage you and the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.