Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers today unveiled “Badger Bounce Back,” a plan outlining criteria for the state to begin a phased reopening. The order requires a 14-day decline in new COVID-19 cases before the state could resume normal operations. The plan sets goals of increasing COVID-19 testing to 85,000 tests per week, adding 1,000 contact tracers across the state and getting more personal protective equipment for health care and public safety workers. “I am excited and hopeful about this plan,” Evers said. “While being safe at home continues to be important, this plan is an all-out attack on the virus and it begins the process of preparing our businesses and our workforce for the important planning that will result in the safe and logical reopening of our economy.” The Badger Bounce Back plan comes four days after Evers extended his Safer at Home order, which prohibits nonessential business and travel, to May 26. The unveiling of the plan follows the Trump administration's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again,issued last week. Wisconsin does not currently meet the criteria outlined in those guidelines to start reopening the state, but the new plan is aimed at getting the state there. The goals outlined in the plan include:
Allowing everyone who needs a test to get a test. The plan aims to complete an average of 12,000 tests per day. Earlier today, Evers announced efforts that are underway to accelerate the state’s testing capacity.
Expanding contact tracing, with the goal of every Wisconsinite who tests positive being interviewed within 24 hours of receiving their test results and their contacts being interviewed within 48 hours of test results.
Growing the state’s supply of PPE for health care and public safety workers.
A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 symptoms reported within a 14-day period, and a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.
The plan outlines three phases for reopening the economy. The order does not include specific dates for when they would roll out, but says "the state must make progress toward the goals" before it can move on to the next phase. It does make allowances for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to reduce restrictions on certain businesses or sectors before Safer at Home lifts. "It's going to be a 24/7 war on this virus and we're going to take it on and eventually get to a point where we can reopen the economy," Evers said. Phase one allows:
Gatherings of up to 10 people
Restaurants to reopen with social distancing requirements
Removing certain restrictions, including retail restrictions, for essential businesses and operations
Additional operations for nonessential businesses
K-12 schools to resume in-person learning
Child care settings to resume full operation
Bars remain closed, but takeout and delivery is allowed
Phase two allows:
Gatherings of up to 50 people
Restaurants to resume full operation
Bars to reopen with social distancing requirements
Nonessential businesses to resume with social distancing requirements
Post-secondary education institutions to resume operations
Phase three would resume all business activity and gatherings, with minimal protective and preventative measures for the general public and more protective measures for vulnerable populations.
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