COVID-19, Coronavirus, group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections. 3D illustration.

By Shereen Siewert

Five people have died and 416 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for COVID-19 as of March 23, while a “Safer at Home” order begins statewide on Tuesday.

Gov. Tony Evers, in a media call on Monday, said residents will be allowed to travel for doctor visits, groceries, getting medication and other essential tasks. Additional details will be released on Tuesday, Evers said.

Doctors, nurses, grocers and family caregivers will be granted an exemption, but everyone else in the state is expected to limit travel to essential needs such as getting groceries and medication and attending doctor appointments.

Evers said he came to the decision after talking with public health experts, businesses leaders and local elected officials.

“Overwhelmingly the response I heard is that we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “In fact, business leaders have suggested that it is imperative to slow the growth of the disease and that the state cease all non-essential business statewide. And, folks, all hands on deck means you, too.”

DHS data show the number of Marathon County cases remains at one.

Evers said the April 15 tax filing deadline is now extended to July 15 for both federal and state returns.

The April 7 election date remains in place. Evers is urging all voters to cast ballots by absentee voting. Ballots can be requested at myvote.wi.gov.

N95 particulate respirators, face masks, isolation gowns, face shields and thermometers are in high demand, officials said, and a PPE buyback system is being rolled out to help supply health care workers on the front line experiencing a shortage.

Evers said he called on FEMA to assist in gathering medical supplies for police and firefighters including 50,000 non-surgical masks, 10,000 face shields, 35,000 protective gloves and 3,000 N95 masks and is urging federal officials to use all resources possible to defeat the COVID-19 crisis.

“Frankly, this is a bigger challenge than any one governor man manage alone,” Evers said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.