MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The state Supreme Court ruling striking down the “Safer at Home” extension statewide won’t end the restrictions in Dane County.
Soon after the decision was handed down, Public Health Madison & Dane County issued a statement declaring health officials would use its own authority to issue an order that implements portions of the now-defunct Safer at Home order.
The agency said the new order goes into effect immediately.
WATCH: Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi hold a press conference after issuing order:
“By continuing to follow Safer at Home and practicing physical distancing, we can all work together to achieve these criteria and begin the phased reopening of Dane County as soon as possible,” the County said in a statement.
Its new order will utilize all regulations enacted by the “Safer at Home” extension, except churches will be treated as essential businesses. That means they will be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity.
The agency notes the county has done well insofar as meeting the goals established by the state’s Badger Bounce Back program, which was designed to ease the state back into business.
During a press conference held after the statement was issued, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway called the extended 'Safer at Home' order a "mayor success in preventing death and illness in Wisconsin."
"The [Wisconsin Supreme] Court's ruling ignored the long-standing and broad statutory powers that the legislature itself granted to the Department of Health Services," the mayor said to reporters.
"We have done a great job here in Madison and Dane County at flattening the curve, and we need to continue to do that," Rhodes-Conway said. "Here in Madison we believe in science, and we will be guided by data."
"We will reopen, but we will do that in a phased way that protects public health while restarting our economy," the mayor concluded.
The 4-3 State Supreme Court ruling essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants. Local governments can still impose their own health restrictions, however.
Evers issued a stay-at-home order in March that closed schools and nonessential businesses. The closures battered the state economy, but Evers argued they were necessary to slow the virus’ spread. The order was supposed to lift on April 24, but Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Andrea Palm, an Evers appointee, extended it to May 26.