Public Health Guidance

Current Recommendations:

  • Social distancing:
    • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people
    • Do not gather in groups
    • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gathering
    • If you completing a task that requires you to be in an area where it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of distance from others (e.g. grocery shopping), please wear a protective face mask. This will help protect others if you have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms or asymptomatic but still in a possible transmission period. DIY Masks
  • Guidance for Seasonal/Second Homeowners:
    The Walworth County Division of Public Health requests that seasonal and second homeowners remain at their primary residence for the duration of the Safer at Home Order. This request applies to both in-state and out-of-state travelers. If travelers choose relocate to a second home in Wisconsin, they should be prepared to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. Public health recommends bringing groceries and essentials, as self-quarantine does not permit shopping at local stores for supplies. Find additional DHS travel guidance here https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/travel.htm

  • Religious Services and Safer at Home Order: 
    Some congregations are inquiring about outdoor or parking lot type services.  We are not recommending this practice. Many church goers are among the most vulnerable to serious COVID-19 complications.  The social distancing recommendations found in the Safer At Home order are still the best way to keep our community members safe and healthy. We strongly encourage the use of virtual platforms for religious service.
    Easter is approaching and some congregations may still be planning to gather members for outdoor or parking lot type services.  Many of our church-goers are some of the most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.  Please urge your churches to use virtual platforms, social media, pre-recorded sermons, and other means to deliver messages of faith.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Golf courses in my area are opening and operating as “member only” is this allowable under the Safer at Home order?
    • Golf courses are not considered essential businesses. Staff are allowed to perform minimum basic operations but the courses should not be open. Local law enforcement has the authority to enforce this order. Businesses wishing to appeal for an essential business status may do so via the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation at https://wedc.org/essentialbusiness/
  • Are campgrounds essential businesses?
    • The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has identified campgrounds as essential businesses because they, like hotels, often provide shelter for essential workers. The campgrounds must adhere to the social distancing practices and not allow congregation on their sites. More info may be found at: https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/CampgroundsCovid19Guidance.pdf
  • What happens after we reach the peak of disease?
    • A lot is still unknown. When we reach the peak it means we have high viral activity. This level of activity can continue for a time after the peak number of cases. We will need to keep practicing social distancing measures to make it through the peak and allow the viral activity to decrease. It is unknown as of yet if, like some influenza strains, this virus will have a secondary peak. DHS continues to develop models and research the epidemiology of the virus and will provide us with more information as it becomes available from CDC and WHO.
  • Are vape shops considered essential? 
    • Vape, tobacco, and CBD shops are non-essential businesses according to Governor Evers’ Safer at home Order. As such, these businesses fall under section 4b that requires closure of all places of “public amusement and activity.” This section does not provide any exceptions for delivery or drive up service. Delivery of products from these businesses does not meet the requirements to qualify as “essential travel” under the order (see section 15 on page 15), nor does delivery qualify as “minimum basic operations” (see section 14, page 15). In summary, delivery of these items does not meet the essential travel and minimum basic operations definitions in the Safer at Home Order and should not take place.  More info on the Safer at Home order can be found at: https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO12-SaferAtHome.pdf

  • Public beaches and boat launches were packed over the weekend and people were not social distancing, what should we do?
    • Local law enforcement should continue to encourage people to keep space between them while enjoying the outdoors. Outdoor activity is great for mental health well being, but we still want people to keep space between themselves and others.  Playground equipment and other surfaces that would be touched frequently or locations that would create mass gatherings may be closed.
  • My neighbors are from out of state and aren’t adhering to the safer at home orders. Who enforces this?
    • We strongly recommend following the guidance provided by WI DHS, however, this is not enforceable by Public Health. Public Health can only enforce isolation on confirmed cases of COVID-19.
    • Law enforcement may stop and ticket people engaging in non-essential travel under the Safer at Home order, which requires Wisconsin residents to stay at home or their primary place of residence unless performing essential activities. Exemptions under this order however include travel to return home from outside your home jurisdiction and travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside of Wisconsin.
    • The official position of Wisconsin DHS, which Walworth County is following, is, “Travel between private homes within the state, including seasonal homes or rental cabins, is strongly discouraged.  This is for your safety and well being as well as the safety of our rural counties and tribal communities. Non-essential travel outside your current community may spread COVID-19 to areas with very limited health care infrastructure. If you choose to travel to a second home in Wisconsin, you should be prepared to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. You should bring your own groceries and essentials, as self-quarantine does not permit shopping at local stores for supplies.”