By Shereen Siewert
State health officials on Friday upped the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin to 206, including Marathon County’s first case as unemployment number continued to skyrocket.
The 206 figure is a sharp rise from Thursday’s tally of 156 in Wisconsin.
Also on Friday, Gov. Tony Evers ordered all hair salons, tattoo shops, nail salons, barber shops, tanning studios, day spas and body art establishments to close as of 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
Evers warned Friday that more people in Wisconsin will die of the coronavirus, and health officials said there are not enough ICU hospital beds, testing equipment or medical supplies to deal with the expected surge in patients.
“Things will get worse before they get better,” Evers said on a conference call. “The fight against COVID-19 will not be easy.”
Wisconsin logged its third death on Friday, after the first two were announced on Thursday. The deaths were a 66-year-old man in Milwaukee; a man in his 50s in Fond du Lac County; and a man in his 90s in Ozaukee County.
“Sadly these deaths will not be our only deaths, we will see more,” said Andrea Palm, secretary of the state Department of Health Services.
There were 206 confirmed cases in 29 counties in Wisconsin, up from 155 in 21 counties on Thursday. Palm said it was expected to spread to all 72 counties.
Unemployment claims also skyrocketed this week in Wisconsin. According to the Department of Workforce Development, 45,732 claims were reported Sunday, March 15 through Thursday, March 19 compared to 4,464 in the same five-day stretch in 2019.
Evers on Friday also clarified rules regarding bars and restaurants statewide. Under the revised rules breweries, brewpubs, wineries, distilleries and alcoholic beverages including bars are closed, though carryout sales of alcoholic beverages and food are allowed if permitted by local ordinance. Delivery of alcoholic beverages to retail customers is prohibited unless the customer first comes into the licensed or permitted premises to make payment in person, face to face.
It is unclear if Wausau businesses are allowed alcoholic beverage carryout services, after the City Council rejected a request in 2018 by Applebee’s to allow such curbside pickup with food purchases amid concerns about alcohol consumption. Wausau Pilot & Review has contacted city officials to clarify the issue and will update this story when an answer is given.
For pickup orders, customers may enter the establishment to order, pick up and pay for food or beverages. No seating may be provided and no food or drink can be consumed on the premises, either indoors or outdoors.
Delivery of alcoholic beverages to retail customers is prohibited unless the customer first comes into the licensed or permitted premises to make payment in person, face to face.
Wineries holding direct wind shipping permits are allowed to make deliveries.
Self-service operations of salad bars, beverage stations and buffets are prohibited.
Banks, manufacturers, retail food establishments such as grocery stores and bakeries are open, as are hotels, motels and shared residential units or homeless shelters.
A shelter in place order was issued in Illinois on Friday, and Minnesota is considering such an order as well, according to multiple media reports. But so far on Friday, no such order has been issued in Wisconsin.
See the full revised rules, below.
Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this story.