On May 13, 2020 the Wisconsin Supreme Court published their ruling in the Wisconsin Legislature versus Palm. The decision immediately nullified the Safer at Home order and subsequently ended the rules outlined within the order. Local law enforcement officials will no longer enforce or respond to possible violations of the order.
Even though the order is no longer active in the State of Wisconsin, officials from the Dunn County Health Department, Dunn County Sheriff’s Office and the Menomonie Police Department have worked collaboratively to develop the next steps to keep the community safe and healthy. Our next steps center on working in partnership with citizens, business owners, clergy and other various community members to implement best practices to protect ourselves from COVID-19. This is absolutely necessary because COVID-19 can spread from one low-symptom person to dozens of people without them even realizing they are jeopardizing the health of others.
As we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 please review the basic guidelines created to keep you, your family, friends and co-workers safe. As we turn from enforcement to partnership, we ask you to take care of yourselves and others.
Basic principles to assure personal and community health and safety.
1. Mass gatherings Dunn County residents are advised to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people in their place of work, play or worship. All gatherings that bring together people in a single room or confined or enclosed space, whether inside or outside, at the same time should:
• Preserve physical distancing (maintaining 6 feet of distance between people and avoiding all direct physical contact).
• follow all other public health recommendations issued by Dunn County Public Health Department, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the US Centers for Disease Control.
2. Schools In line with the decision of the Supreme Court, all public and private schools in Dunn County shall remain closed. Staff presence on school property for basic operations, to distribute food, or to support distance learning will be allowed.
3. Safe business practices In the interest of public safety, all Dunn County businesses shall:
a. Have policies or practices in place to monitor their staff for symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to a known case on a regular basis;
b. Have policies or practices that support working from home, when feasible;
c. Have policies or practices encouraging handwashing, wearing masks, and physical distancing;
d. Have policies or practices supplies to ensure adequate disinfection and cleaning;
e. Cooperate with Public Health investigations related to COVID-19 confirmed or suspected cases related to the business operations, including excluding employees based on public health recommendations and assisting public health with identifying and contacting contacts of cases;
f. Cease door-to-door operations; and
g. Review the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation guidelines on safe business practices, available here: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/. Businesses must consider integrating and adopting the applicable guidelines.
4. Travel Residents are strongly encouraged to avoid non-essential travel outside of their communities.
a. Residents can travel to work or to take care of dependents.
b. Residents who travel to the Twin Cities for work must be cautious and monitor themselves for symptoms.
c. If a Dunn County resident does travel outside their community or travels using confined means he/she should limit contact with non-household members for 14 days and monitor symptoms closely.
Public health and local law enforcement will utilize statutory authority granted by the Wisconsin Legislature in Wis. Stats. §252.25 and local Human Health Hazard ordinances to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when associated with a particular outbreak centered around places, events or individuals.
In conclusion, it is our most sincere hope that if we all work diligently together to adhere to the above guidelines we will protect our most important community commodity, the lives of our citizens. If you need assistance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Dunn County Health Department, Dunn County Sheriff’s Office or the Menomonie Police Department.
KT Gallagher, Dunn County Health Officer, 715-232-2388
Kevin Bygd, Dunn County Sheriff, 715-232-1564
Eric M. Atkinson, Menomonie Police Chief, 715-232-2198