City of Milwaukee to issue 'stay at home order' ahead of state

NOW: City of Milwaukee to issue ’stay at home order’ ahead of state

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Mayor Tom Barrett announced Monday, March 23, Milwaukee will issue a "stay at home" order ahead of Gov. Tony Evers' order that will take effect Wednesday, March 25. 

Mayor Barrett wants to make clear this is not a lockdown. You are allowed to go to the grocery store, go outside for a run or go to the doctor. 

Barrett said violating the "stay at home" order is a misdemeanor, and could be punishable if there is a willful violation. But Barrett said this is not meant to be a major law enforcement effort. 

Barrett said he and Evers came to the decision on the orders based in part on reports of people ignoring social distancing rules.

“We got reports over the weekend of people congregating around liquor stores, or bars, or restaurants, and that’s exactly what we don’t want to see happen,” Barrett said.

The Milwaukee city-wide order goes into effect just after midnight early Wednesday morning.

Barrett says you can still go to the grocery store, the doctor’s and go outside for exercise.

“This is a life and death issue, and our order will go into effect before the governor’s because we understand that this city, and this county are the places where we’re seeing the most cases," Barrett said.

The statewide order will have similar rules when Evers issues it Tuesday.

“Issuing a safer at home order isn’t something I thought I'd have to do," Evers said. "It’s not something I wanted to do, and it’s not something I take lightly.”

Evers staff is putting together a list of businesses that will not be forced to work from home.

The governor says virtually all social interactions outside of your own home are off limits.

“I wanted to give everybody the opportunity to prepare and plan ahead, so that you can help do your part to keep our friends and our neighbors and our communities safe.”

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