Dane Co. weighs local restrictions if 'Safer at Home' struck down

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 11:30 AM CDT
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Dane County health officials are already planning what they will do if the state Supreme Court quashes the statewide ‘Safer at Home’ order, including potentially issuing similar restrictions on a local level.

“If the statewide safer at home order is invalidated by the court, we would look at our local data and determine our next steps,” Public Health Madison and Dane County spokesperson Sara Mattes said.

Mattes told NBC15 they aren’t the only local health department bracing for a sudden end to the Evers Administration’s order. She added that “many jurisdictions” are doing the same.

Statewide, health officials are waiting to learn what the Justices decide in the state legislature’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the Department of Health Services’ extension of the ‘Safer at Home’ order, which was argued over a week ago.

The ‘Safer at Home’ order is scheduled to expire on May 26, the day after Memorial Day, and Gov. Tony Evers has said he does not expect another extension. Recently, DHS has rolled back some of the restrictions placed on businesses, including letting most shops open, so long as they only let five customers in their stores at a time.

Since the beginning of the month, Dane County has seen 47 new COVID-19 cases, which brings its total to 477, as of Tuesday.

Comparatively, Rock County has reported 146 new cases in that time (346 overall). Brown County and Waukesha Counties have recorded 783 (1,958) and 64 (414) cases, respectively, in May. The state’s largest county, Milwaukee tallied over 1,000 new cases this month (4,069).