UPDATE: Gov. Evers announces plans for certain stores to open with limitations

Published: May. 11, 2020 at 12:38 PM CDT
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Under the latest change to the Safer at Home order, standalone or strip mall-based retail stores, along with drive-in movie theaters, are allowed to reopen starting immediately.

For one such store in Chippewa Falls, the owner says she was starting to wonder if she would make it out of the pandemic still in business.

Starting Tuesday, The Bird Nest in Chippewa Falls will be back open.

"I actually jumped up out of my chair and was just in such an awe and a joy that we were going to be able to try to recoup here maybe some of the losses that we've had or at least try to keep our business afloat. We were getting kind of worried there for a while that how much longer we were going to have to be closed if we were even going to be able to stay open the rest of the summer," said The Bird Nest Owner Courtney Anders.

The store is able to open back up after Governor Tony Evers announced yet another change to the current Safer at Home order.

Evers announcing on Monday that all standalone retail stores, strip mall-based stores, and drive-in movie theaters can reopen with some contingencies.

"Both customers and workers need to be confident in their safety, so we need everyone to be diligent and following best safety practices so that we can continue to move our state forward while keeping our neighbors, our families, and our communities safe," said Evers.

Stores must be limited to five or fewer customers inside at a time, staff and customers are strongly encouraged to wear face masks, and social distancing guidelines should be followed.

"Everyone is trying to prepare as best they can but we don't know the scenario, so we'll just follow the guidelines and everyone will do the best they can. Hopefully we can get this opened up, we don't know if it's going to be back to normal, we don't know what normal is," said Chippewa Falls Main Street Executive Director Teri Ouimette.

At The Bird Nest, the mother-daughter owned business has only been open for three years.

Although the store has no employees, being able to let customers back in the store that sells home decor and custom items could not have come soon enough.

"It's been rough on us for the fact that we're not an established business, we don't have a bunch of money backing us up to be able to stay open and not have any income coming in so it's been really, really hard with that," said Anders.

Like with previous turning the dial orders, both the Safer at Home order and the Badger Bounce Back plan are still effect.

MADISON, Wis. (NEWS RELEASE)-- Gov. Tony Evers today announced another turn of the dial on Safer at Home to add even more opportunities for Wisconsin businesses to get back to work in a safe and responsible way.

Emergency Order #36, signed today by Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, allows all standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while maintaining required social distancing practices. Additionally, the Emergency Order signed today allows drive-in theaters to operate with some restrictions. All businesses must continue to follow all safety precautions and guidelines as outlined in the Safer at Home order.

"In addition to added flexibilities and steps we have already taken for businesses, this is another disciplined turn of the dial that will allow Wisconsin's business owners to safely get back to work and Wisconsin consumers to support their favorite local spots," said Gov. Evers. "Both customers and workers need to be confident in their safety, so we need everyone to be diligent in following best safety practices so we can continue to move our state forward while keeping our neighbors, families, and communities safe and healthy."

Today’s order builds upon the Safer at Home order and the last turn of the dial through Emergency Order #34, which together allowed golf courses to operate, aesthetic and optional lawn and construction services provided by a single employee, curbside pick-up for public libraries, and every business to provide deliveries, mailings, and curbside pick-up and drop-off services.