Gov. Tony Evers declaring a public health emergency due to the coronavirus March 12.(Photo by Andy Manis)
Gov. Tony Evers declaring a public health emergency due to the coronavirus March 12.(Photo by Andy Manis)

Businesses that can provide curbside drop-off of goods, animals can reopen

Gov. Tony Evers announced another “turning of the dial” to reopen Wisconsin businesses Monday that now will allow dog groomers, kayak and canoe rentals and auto repair shops to reopen if they abide by certain guidelines.

The reopening of what have been termed non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is being allowed as long as businesses can provide curbside drop-off of goods and animals. Businesses must operate free of contact with customers by providing payment options online or over the phone, enacting proper disinfecting practices and providing a service that can be performed by a single employee.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has a three-page handout explaining the current allowable business practices HERE.

This will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses, and others safely open, Evers said. 

Monday’s order also allows outdoor recreational rentals, such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs, and other similar recreational vehicles to reopen. Self-service car washes will also be allowed to operate again. 

For example, a dog owner would be able to drive up outside the store, hand off their dog to the groomer and leave without needing to go in the store, allowing that business to again open but under different conditions.

“This order means that every business across our state can do things like deliveries, mailings, curbside pick-up and drop-off,” Evers said. “It’s an important step in making sure that while folks are staying safer at home, they can also continue to support small businesses across our state.” 

Evers announcement comes as the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin rose to 6,081 and the number of deaths increased to 281. Statewide, the number of negative cases is 61,311. 

Milwaukee County continues to lead the state, with 2,674 cases and 167 deaths, according to the state Department of Health Services. 

Brown County now has the second-highest number of cases in the state due to an outbreak at several meat processing plants. The county now has 849 positive cases, with 255 cases confirmed among JBS Packerland employees, one of the country’s largest meat processors.  Two people have died from the virus in Brown County. Nearby, Manitowoc County reported its first COVID-19 death over the weekend.

The third-highest number of cases is in Dane County, where 412 people have tested positive and 21 have died. 

On Monday, Evers maintained the statewide approach to slowly opening businesses rather than opening back up the state one region at a time is necessary in order not to overwhelm the healthcare systems of rural areas. 

“Everyone depends on a thriving economy,” Evers said. “But we have to be patient.”