Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday ordered that child care providers may have no more than 50 children and 10 staff present at a time, in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The restriction goes into effect 8 a.m. Thursday.
The order comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin now exceeds 100.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 106 confirmed active cases in the state as of Wednesday afternoon, up from 72 the same time Tuesday. Of those, 47 cases are in Milwaukee County.
“Community spread” of the virus – meaning people testing positive who have no exposure to a known case and haven’t traveled to a location where there is known community spread – is happening in Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha counties, according to DHS.
Childcare providers are being asked to prioritize families of health care and essential service providers when enacting the restriction.
“Child care is an essential service for many of the folks working on the front lines to provide health care and vital services to our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Evers said. “This is another step forward to ensure that service continues, while protecting our child care providers who are going above and beyond their regular duties to support our families, communities, and state.”
Evers said his administration is also working with health care providers, child care providers and the National Guard to provide on-site care for health care workers.
The order follows Evers’ statewide ban on gatherings of 10 or more people to slow the spread of COVID-19, enacted 5 p.m. Tuesday.