Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin residents are not going to be ordered to stay at home because of the coronavirus – at least not yet. 

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday told reporters that he is not planning to issue a shelter in place order. 

"I believe that we’ll be able to avoid that," he governor said. "People in the state of Wisconsin are taking that seriously."

Evers is suggesting that people stay at home as much as they can. 

“Social distancing not only protects you and your family from increased exposure to COVID-19, but it protects our healthcare professionals, direct care providers, and others who are on the frontlines serving our communities during this pandemic,” Evers said. 

New York and California have issued orders to keep people off the streets, and Illinois was expected to Friday afternoon. 

Evers this week has ordered bars, shops, gyms, and churches closed. He ordered that restaurants be closed to dine-in customers. Grocery stores, pharmacies, most daycare centers, gas stations, and other 'essential' services are still open. 

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services on Friday confirmed 206 cases of the coronavirus. DHS also said another person has died. That brings Wisconsin's death toll to three. 

"Unfortunately this number is expected to rise and things will get worse before they get better," Evers said. 

"As testing expands, as this evolves, you are going to see cases all across the state of Wisconsin," DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm added. "I don think that counties all across the state should expect to see cases."

Over 3,400 people have been tested for the virus and found to not be sick. 

Wisconsin's National Guard mobilized 300 troops Thursday to help in the state's coronavirus response.

Evers said there will likely be more steps coming. 

"Decisions about the implementation of other community measures will be made by state and local officials based on CDC and DHS guidance, as well as the scope of the outbreak." the governor's office said Friday. 

The Center Square Contributor

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.