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DHS on grocery shopping during COVID-19: ‘People should go once a week’

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MADISON -- Gov. Tony Evers said Monday, March 23 that he will order the closure of all nonessential businesses starting Tuesday and he urged people to stay at home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus that has killed five people in the state and infected more than 400. The order from Evers, which he called “Safer at Home,” followed his orders to close the state's K-12 schools and various businesses, including bars, restaurants, and hair salons. He also limited gatherings to no more than 10 people, but he said Friday that he didn't think a shelter in place order would be necessary. Evers said many unanswered questions about the order, including the full list of exemptions and how long it would be in place, would be released on Tuesday.

No matter what the order entails, one thing is certain: Grocery stores will remain open during the coroanvirus pandemic.

At Meijer on West Burleigh in Wauwatosa Monday, FOX6 News found more than 100 vehicles in the parking lot. Inside the store, there were signs requiring people to stay six feet apart -- not an easy task -- and to go home if you're sick, but the reality is, everyone needs food.



Andrea Palm

Andrea Palm

"People should go once a week to do their grocery shopping, and we should maintain really strict social distancing in those cases," said Andrea Palm, Wisconsin Department of Health Services secretary. "The six feet, make sure you've got six feet between you and another person. Avoid physical contact."

Some stores have limited the number of people who can be inside at any one time, but for others, that's just not a realistic policy.

One grocery employee recommended shopping between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. -- a time when she's noticed it's been slowest.

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