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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is expected to order the closure of all non-essential businesses starting Tuesday, urging people to stay at home in the effort to slow the spread of a spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Evers made the announcement onTwitter, where he also told people they can still get out but not to take any unnecessary trips, and limit travel to essential needs like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries or getting medication. 

The formal order is expected to be released on Tuesday, March 24.

“We have been working hard to ensure the health and safety of the people of our state as we have responded to COVID-19. We’ve taken important steps, but folks, time is of the essence. So today I’m announcing we'll be issuing a #SaferAtHome order tomorrow,” Evers said on Twitter.

As the state has worked to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19, officials have been careful to listen to public health experts and to be mindful of the effects proactive steps could and will have on frontline workers and the most vulnerable in our communities, according to Evers.

“Over the past few days, I’ve talked with public health experts and with business leaders and local elected officials around the state. Overwhelmingly the response I heard is that we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “In fact, business leaders have suggested that it is imperative to slow the growth of the disease and that the state cease all non-essential business statewide. And, folks, all hands on deck means you, too.”

On Twitter, Evers said he understands this has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across the state. 

“That’s why issuing a #SaferAtHome order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do, and it’s not something I take lightly. But here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously,” Evers said. “People across our state are still out and about unnecessarily that are putting our friends, our neighbors, and our communities at risk. Please #StayHome and help us save lives.”

Evers called on people to limit their interactions to the same people, not different small groups. 

“Shrinking the circle of interactions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately that means no sleepovers, no play dates, and no dinner parties with friends and neighbors,” Evers said. “We’re all in this together, and each and every one of us has to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can #FlattenTheCurve to ensure our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work.”

“You can still get out and walk the dogs — it’s good exercise and it’s good for everyone’s mental health — but please don’t take any other unnecessary trips, and limit your travel to essential needs like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries, or getting medication,”Evers said.

Workers providing essential care or services will be allowed to continue to travel to and from work. That includes healthcare professionals, grocers, family caregivers and others whose work is critical for folks across our state.

“If it’s essential for you to go outside, please stay 6 feet away from others and shared spaces such as park shelters and visitor centers,”Evers said. “There will be additional details soon about what this order means for you, but I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to prepare and plan ahead so you can help do your part to keep our friends, neighbors, and communities safe.”

“In the days, weeks, and months ahead we will continue listening to the public health experts, healthcare providers, first responders, and businesses and workers on the frontlines. And as I listen and learn I will continue to share updates with the people of Wisconsin,” Evers said on Twitter.

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