Sawyer County Health Officer Makes Recommendations Following Supreme Court Decision
The Sawyer County (“Sawyer County” or “County”) Public Health Officer (“County PHO”) hereby issues this Order Regarding Updated Recommendations (the “Order”) this 14th day of May, 2020.
WHEREAS, in December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus known as COVID-19 was detected, and COVID-19 has continued to spread throughout the world, including to the United States and the State of Wisconsin; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency; on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic; and on March 12, 2020 the Governor of the State of Wisconsin declared a Health Emergency in the State and has subsequently issued additional Executive Orders and Emergency Orders; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the County PHO, as set forth in Wis. Stat. § 251.06, identified a public health emergency due to detection of COVID-19, and its spread throughout the world, including to the United States and the State of Wisconsin; and
WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, the Sawyer County Board of Supervisors (“County Board”) adopted a Resolution and Action Regarding County Public Health Emergency (the “County Declaration”), which described the emergency conditions and the need for the County to take any action necessary and expedient to combat the spread of COVID-19 in order to ensure the health, welfare, safety and protection of persons and property within the County and ratified the County Declaration; and
WHEREAS, on April 30, 2020, the County Board extended the County Declaration for sixty (60) days; and
WHEREAS, on March 24, 2020, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (“DHS”) Secretary-designee Palm issued Emergency Order #12 (“EO 12”), also known as the “Safer at Home Order,” which was effective through April 24, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on April 16, 2020, DHS Secretary-designee Palm issued Emergency Order #28 (“EO 28”), which extended EO 12 through May 26, 2020; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 252.02, EO 12 and EO 28, collectively known as the Safer at Home Order, were legally binding on the County PHO and the County; and
WHEREAS, on May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision that declared EO 28 unlawful, invalid and unenforceable; and
WHEREAS, in light of EO 12’s expiration on April 24, 2020 and the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision on May 13, 2020 declaring EO 28 unlawful, invalid and unenforceable, the County PHO and the County are no longer bound by EO 12 and EO 28/the Safer at Home Order; and
WHEREAS, the County PHO, as the designated local health officer set forth in Wis. Stat. § 251.06, has the authority to issue this Order pursuant to the duties and obligations set forth in Wisconsin law, including but not limited to those set forth in Wis. Stat. § 252.03, Wis. Stat. § 252.06, Wis. Admin. Code Ch. DHS 145, and pursuant to the County Declaration; and
WHEREAS, scientific data supports and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (“WEDC”) continues to recommend certain social distancing practices (“WEDC Guidelines”) to continue suppression of the spread of the COVID-19 virus; and
WHEREAS, the Public Health Officer deems the terms of this Order reasonable and necessary to suppress and control the spread of COVID-19 virus in the County and to protect the health, welfare and safety of persons and property in the County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the County PHO orders and directs the following:
1. The Recitals set forth above are true and accurate, and are therefore incorporated into the Order and shall be used not just for reference.
2. The County PHO strongly recommends that County residents, visitors, businesses and operations adhere to the WEDC Guidelines, as may be amended, including but not limited to:
● If businesses or organizations choose to open, they should implement the WEDC Guidelines for businesses
● Practice good hygiene and social distancing
● Disinfect frequently-used items and surfaces as much as possible
● Consider using cloth face coverings while in public
● People who feel sick should stay at home
● People who are medically vulnerable as defined by the Wisconsin Department of Health should continue to shelter at home or avoid interacting with others
● Online education and remote work are encouraged
3. This Order supersedes any prior County PHO Order except the County PHO dated May 5, 2020, relating to masking and social distancing requirements on County property.
4. This Order does not supersede or have any impact on the County Declaration.
5. Due to the changing situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, additional health restrictions may be imposed in the future.
This Order is hereby issued by the Sawyer County Public Health Officer, Julia Lyons, on this 15th day of May, 2020.
Sawyer County Public Health Officer