Churches in Madison and Dane County can now follow the same rules as any other local business regarding in-person attendance after the Madison Catholic Diocese challenged as unconstitutional earlier this week the limitations for places of worship in the local coronavirus reopening plan.
Also, Public Health Madison and Dane County officials said Friday the county will not move to the next phase of reopening businesses and other entities to 50% capacity before June 12, and even if data looks good, the shift likely won’t happen for a few days to give time to prepare.
City and county officials announced Friday they are loosening a public health order to let churches have services up to 25% capacity. The previous order — put in place to reduce the risk of an
outbreak of COVID-19 where people gather in large numbers — let churches have as many services as they wanted, but required they be capped at just 50 worshipers per service.
“Basic life needs — food, shelter, and clothing — are in such high demand in our community given the current pandemic, so it’s hard to imagine the best use of parishioner or taxpayer dollars right now is in a courtroom,” County Executive Joe Parisi said in a statement Friday.
“While the request of the Catholic Bishop of Madison raises a legal gray area, the public health science here is anything but unclear: COVID-19 is here, infecting more people every day and minimizing contact in large group settings is an incredibly effective approach to staying healthy,” Parisi said.
In a letter sent Wednesday on behalf of the diocese to Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Parisi and Janel Heinrich, director of the joint city-county health department, attorneys with the nonprofit Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and three other law firms
say the county’s Forward Dane plan unconstitutionally singles out churches for tougher gathering restrictions than many other venues.
In the initial Phase 1 of the three-phase plan, venues other than churches — including shopping malls, gyms and theaters, and other businesses — are simply limited to 25% capacity, with no specific upper limit on the number of people in attendance at one time.
Madison Diocese Bishop Donald Hying applauded Friday’s decision.
“As bishop, it is my duty to ensure that Sunday Mass be available as widely as possible to the Catholic faithful, while following best practices when it comes to public health,” Hying said.
“Indeed, in a time of deep division, it is more important than ever for the church to provide solace and comfort to all, in the great tradition of American religious freedom. We look forward to working together with the county and city to continue the reopening process in a safe, cooperative, and responsible manner.”
Becket vice president and senior counsel Eric Rassbach said, “We’re glad that Madison and Dane County came to their senses, but it shouldn’t have taken so long. The First Amendment protects both prayer and protest. Putting an arbitrary numerical cap on worship services while allowing thousands to protest makes no sense from a legal or public health perspective.
“Most other governments nationwide have already lifted their COVID-related restrictions on worship,” he said. “The few remaining holdouts should take note and come into compliance with the First Amendment.”
Still a danger
As of Friday, the county is nearing 800 positive COVID-19 cases, and the state will soon pass the 20,000-case mark. More than 1,000 people in the United States died from COVID-19 Thursday alone, the city-county statement says.
“Public Health Madison and Dane County stands by its efforts to protect the public, contain the virus and do so in a way that is neutral and even-handed, with the health and safety of all of Dane County’s residents being the top priority,” Heinrich said.
These orders were put in place for a reason — we are in the midst of a public health emergency and we are going to do all we can to reduce the risk of public infection,” she added.
The agency strongly recommends that faith and spiritual organizations continue to provide virtual services as the safest and recommended practice, the statement says.
“The intent of this order was to reduce the risk of a flare-up of COVID-19 occurring in churches that could quickly overwhelm Public Health contact tracing and our healthcare systems,” Rhodes-Conway said. “I am appreciative of the number of religious denominations that are being mindful of the risk of congregating large groups in enclosed spaces right now.”
After the state Supreme Court struck down the statewide stay-at-home order on May 13, the public health department issued an order to replace it that listed houses of worship as “essential services” that could open at 25% capacity, the diocese said. The diocese crafted a reopening plan based on that limit only to see the department issue a new order a few days later that added the 50-person restriction, lawyers for the diocese said.
Under Emergency Order No. 4, which takes effect immediately, the county remains in Phase 1 of the Forward Dane plan, the city-county statement says. Order No. 4 makes a clarification with respect to religious services. Religious worship services will no longer be categorized as a “mass gathering.” All restrictions applicable to businesses will continue to apply to religious services. These restrictions include limiting capacity to 25% of approved capacity levels and developing and implementing written hygiene, cleaning and protective measure policies and procedures.
The county entered Phase 1 of the reopening plan on May 26 and under the plan’s terms must remain in each phase for at least 14 days, or the incubation time for the coronavirus.
Moving on to phases 2 and 3 requires the county to meet a series of increasingly stringent health metrics and comes with looser restrictions on businesses and other institutions. For churches that would mean limits on their capacities of 50% and 75%, respectively, but any hard numerical limit on attendance is “to be determined” under the plan.
It’s unclear when public health will move to the next phases, but county officials said Friday it won’t be for at least another week.
The current COVID-19 weekly data snapshot gives a picture of the Forward Dane metrics through May 29, public health spokesperson Sarah Mattes said. When Public Health updates the metrics again on Monday, the data will be current through June 5, she said.
“We will not issue a new Phase 2 public health order without supporting metrics from two full weeks of data from Phase 1,” Mattes said. “This two-week period will end on June 9. We expect to have the data compiled and analyzed on June 12 to inform any decisions about future orders.
“We will not make a determination until the 12th,” she said. “If a new order is issued based on the metrics, it would mostly likely not go into effect for a few days so that businesses have time to prepare.”
COVID-19 in photos: How Wisconsin is managing the pandemic
COVID-19 in photos: How Wisconsin is managing the pandemic
Election officials Erik Gunneson and Meg Hamel retrieve absentee ballots Tuesday from one of the city's 14 fixed ballot drop boxes outside of Fire Station 3 on Williamson Street in Madison. With just one week left to get your ballot in, election officials recommend those voting absentee drop their ballots off at their local clerk's office or in a drop box.
The outdoor beer garden at Jordan's Big 10 Pub had only a fraction of the crowd compared with a typical home game for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. No standing was allowed, and drinks and food had to be ordered from a waitress or waiter who serviced tables to prevent gatherings at the bar.
The Wisconsin Badgers and the University of Illinois warm up Friday in an empty Camp Randall Stadium. No fans were allowed in the game due to COVID-19, and few fans could be found outside the stadium.
Asendra Brown, site supervisor for the Wisconsin Youth Company at Leopold Elementary School, decorates her car for the "Lights On Afterschool" caravan parade.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Wednesday that Public Health Madison and Dane County is moving to a "crisis model" for contact tracing for COVID-19 because it can't keep up with increasing cases. “The number of cases has simply overrun our health department’s capacity," Parisi said.
Madison residents Evelio Mancera and his daughter Jennifer Mancera fill out their ballots on the first day of the state's in-person absentee voting window for the Nov. 3 election outside the City-County Building on Tuesday.
Elizabeth Quirmbach, right, helped UW-Madison sophomore Ayuka Sinanoglu, center, register to vote on Wednesday, the last day to register by mail or online.
UW-Madison freshman J.J. Post, of New Jersey, spent 10 days in isolation in Humphrey Hall after testing positive for COVID-19. He stands outside Bradley Residence Hall, where he lives on campus.
Nursing assistant Monica Brodsky hands a funnel and vial to Janet Legare, of Middleton, for a new saliva test for COVID-19 on Monday at the UW Health administrative office building in Middleton. The "spit test" is being used for patients who are asymptomatic and need to be screened before an operation or procedure, and produces results in hours.
Wisconsin National Guard member Brooke Steavens dons protective gear before starting her Wednesday shift administering COVID-19 tests at the Alliant Energy Center. Testing at the center is expected to continue at least through the end of the year, but starting next week it will be available only Tuesday through Saturday.
Metro Transit mechanic Brian Holloway closes a newly-installed plexiglass shield around the driver's cabin of one of the city's buses at Metro's garage along East Washington Avenue Madison, Wis. Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 8/21/2020) Mechanic Brian Holloway demonstrates one of the clear plastic shields that will surround Metro Transit drivers.
Children attending a summer camp at Black Belt America participate in a group session at the business in Madison, Wis. Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 9/13/2020) Black Belt America’s summer camp program is being modified to facilitate online education as the school year begins.
A sign along Linden Drive on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis. directs visitors to a COVID-19 testing station Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 8/22/2020) A sign along Linden Drive directs visitors to a COVID-19 testing station.
UW-Madison freshman student Julia Bink of Oconomowoc, Wis. moves her belongings into Sellery Hall with a hand from her mother, Joan Bink, on the campus in Madison, Wis. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 8/31/2020) UW-Madison freshman Julia Bink, of Oconomowoc, moves her belongings into Sellery Hall. Her mother, Joan Bink, is glad she’s just a short drive away in case the university closes the dorms in a couple of weeks.
UW-Madison philosophy professor Harry Brighouse leads a discussion with students in an Ingraham Hall lecture room in Madison, Wis. Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Students entering the Memorial Union on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis. show their ID's at a checkpoint in the building Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 9/6/2020) Only UW-Madison students and employees are allowed into Memorial Union and Union South. A staff member checks for university identification cards.
UW-Madison sophomore and Wisconsin Union worker John Lloyd applies an anti-bacterial cleaning agent to hand rails in the Memorial Union on the campus in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 9/6/2020) UW-Madison sophomore and Wisconsin Union worker John Lloyd applies an anti-bacterial cleaning agent to handrails in the Memorial Union.
The Wisconsin Union Terrace on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis. is uncharacteristically quiet on the first day of the 2020 fall semester Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Capacity at the popular space is limited and students and faculty who wish to visit are assigned time through a reservation system. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 9/6/2020) The Wisconsin Union Terrace on campus was uncharacteristically quiet last week. Capacity at the popular spot is reduced, by reservation only and restricted to students and employees.
UW-Madison Child Development Lab instruction specialist Laura Feist joins preschoolers at the center as they encourage horn honks from passing trucks during a break outside the school on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis. Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 9/16/2020) UW-Madison Child Development Lab instruction specialist Laura Feist joins preschoolers, Feven Smithka (from left), Wren Zentmyer-Gragg and Julius Oberley at the center as they encourage passing trucks to honk their horns during a break outside the school on the campus of UW-Madison Monday.
Mike Romens demonstrates the application of the antimicrobial product RECRESOL on a picnic table at Harriet Park in Verona, Wis. Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. Verona-based Commercial Recreation Specialists, a purveyor of outdoor recreation equipment, has recently formed a partnership with Playtec Solutions, a manufacturer of cleaning solutions for outdoor recreational gathering spaces. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 8/23/2020) Mike Romens demonstrates the application of a PLAYTEC antimicrobial product on a picnic table at Harriet Park in Verona. The non-toxic compound is designed to protect the surfaces of playground equipment and splash pads from bacteria and viruses.
Smart Dental hygienist Sarah Seng uses scaling tools to clean the teeth of Shari Bernstein at the clinic in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at the clinic have temporally suspended the use of ultra-sonic cleaning equipment. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 8/17/2020) Smart Dental hygienist Sarah Seng cleans Shari Bernstein’s teeth. Most hygienists are removing tartar by hand with scaling tools instead of using ultrasound tools, which can cause aerosols, tiny droplets in the air that can spread COVID-19.
Nicole Lee, 19, gets her photo taken outside her home for "A Day to Remember" event put on by Heartland Church in Sun Prairie, Wis., Sunday, June 14, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the church was unable to host their annual "Night to Remember" event at Monona Terrace, a prom-like experience for people with special needs, so they are bringing a small dance party to their guests. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Deynah Thao, 7, gets a close look at a grizzly bear during a trip to Henry Vilas Zoo on the first day of the reopening of the zoo since it closed due to COVID-19 in Madison, Wis., Thursday, June 18, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 6/19/2020) Deynah Thao, 7, gets an up-close look at a grizzly bear as Vilas Zoo reopened Thursday after closing March 17 due to COVID-19. The zoo has installed hand-sanitizer dispensers, increased cleaning, required staff to wear masks and limited its capacity. Visitors are encouraged to wear face masks and may have to wait in line. Last entry will be at 4:30 p.m.
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch prepares for a virtual celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, at Temple Beth El in Madison, Wis., Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Adhering to protocols put in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, members of the UW-Madison marching band wear face coverings and play instruments with bell covers during a limited capacity practice session on the campus in Madison, Wis. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL (Published on 9/6/2020) Members of UW-Madison’s Marching Band wear face coverings and play instruments with bell covers during a limited-capacity practice session to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
Pastor Karla Garcia holds a Sunday service in the parking lot at S.S. Morris Community AME Church on Milwaukee Street earlier this month. "It's exciting seeing people come out and also seeing how the neighbors have actually embraced us and sometimes even opened their windows or stepped outside and listened to parts of the service," church member Wayne Strong said.
Mask use is already common in Madison, including congested State Street, above, after Dane County began requiring masks in enclosed buildings July 13. On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers issued a similar mandate statewide.
In-person absentee voting began Tuesday in Madison for the Aug. 11 primary in which four Madison-area legislative seats are up for grabs.
Riding in a trailer behind her parents' car, Middleton High School senior Zielyn Boozer celebrates during the drive-up graduation ceremony.
Between 50 and 75 people gather Thursday outside the state Capitol to protest mask-wearing and mask mandates as an infringement on their freedom. Masks have been shown to be useful tools in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
Erin Eckberg reviews her mask patterns. In the past week, more than 70 child care providers have requested more than 5,000 masks for children.
Cash transactions are on the decline as retailers, like Willy Street Co-op, are encouraging customers to pay with a credit or debit card, or exact change, in the wake of a national coin shortage.
Alyssa Smith, a lifeguard stationed at the bottom of the water slides at Goodman Pool, helps a young swimmer get to shallower water. Only lifeguards in shallow water wear masks.
Goodman Pool employee Lily Wong, right, keeps track of the number of people entering the pool. The pool has reduced its capacity from 1,000 people to 250 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Counselor Devan Bowers, right, plays a card game with Natalia Thomas, 10, during summer camp at Lussier Family East YMCA, earlier this month. Camp enrollment was down 20% this year due to COVID-19.
Carrie Meyer, of Dane County Emergency Management, with masks organized for distribution Wednesday at the agency's office in the town of Blooming Grove. Several county departments and local community groups are working to help ensure all Dane County residents have access to face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing 100,000 free cloth masks.
Merta Maaneb de Macedo talks to an individual on the phone as she does contact tracing for COVID-19 in an office at Public Health Madison and Dane County in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, July 14, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Dr. Elizabeth Larson, center, reviews test results with Gerardo Chamorro, of Middleton, while Yaudie "Emily" Parrales Knoff translates from Spanish to English, at Our Lady of Hope Clinic, a free clinic on Madison's West Side. Free clinics are seeing a stream of pent-up desire for care amid the pandemic's joblessness.
People take part in a kick and cardio class in the parking lot of Pinnacle Health and Fitness in Fitchburg on Monday, when Dane County's order requiring people to wear masks in buildings took effect. Masks are optional for people outside when proper social distancing can be maintained.
Ava Eckhart, of Madison, works out using a punching bag — and a mask — inside Pinnacle Health and Fitness in Fitchburg on Monday.
Coronavirus protocols are part of the landscape for Holly Johnson, center, co-owner of the Starlite 14 Drive-In. All employees wear masks, and the concession stand has a separate entrance and exit.
Jeremy Bristol, left, of Basswood, and Alex Buroker, of Gillingham, take in "The Fast and the Furious" on Friday at the Starlite 14 Drive-In theater in Richland Center. The drive-in has been a summer staple since 1953 and reopened July 3 under new ownership.
Patrons of Colectivo on State Street in Madison, Wis. converse while wearing masks Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Pictured from left are Helen Brownstein, McKinley Clemons, Julia Rodman and Eve Alterman. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health Madison and Dane County, said wearing masks, which will be required indoors starting Monday, can help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. "If all of us who can wear a mask do so, we can get back parts of our normal lives while also not spreading COVID-19 to others," she said.
KleenMark workers Leonora Dioses and Cesar Diaz clean an office on the West Side of Madison, Wis. Wednesday, July 1, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Jess Dye, owner of Mackesey's Irish Pub, makes a drink for a customer Wednesday at the State Street bar a day before new restrictions take effect limiting bars in Dane County to takeout and outdoor seating only.
"I love it out here," Jimmy White says of the campsite he shares with others off a trail in a Madison city park. Fearful of contracting COVID-19 at a shelter, and with warmer weather settling in, many homeless people have turned to camping as a way to maintain social distance during the pandemic. But there is also reduced access to proper hygiene.
Heather Hypse rests outside her tent on Madison's East Side. She and her companion, Richard Potenberg, have jobs and hope to find housing.
Tutankhamun "Coach" Assad, CEO and founder of the Mellowhood Foundation, visits a neighborhood COVID-19 testing site Tuesday that he helped set up to serve residents on Madison's Southwest Side.
Antalasia Branch hands out information about COVID-19 after people were tested Tuesday.
See Yang is tested for COVID-19 by Jane Peace, a nurse practitioner with University Health Services, as part of a new neighborhood testing site that opened on Madison's Southwest Side. The site is geared toward communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by the new coronavirus.
Deynah Thao, 7, gets a close look at a grizzly bear during a trip to Henry Vilas Zoo on June 18, on the first day of the reopening of the zoo since it closed due to COVID-19 concerns.
Susan Dibbell, deputy director of the Memorial Union, cleans off Terrace tables June 18. The Union announced plans to reopen its Terrace the next week but with reservation-style seating and extra space between tables.
Nicole Lee, 19, dances with Mel Boudreau, left, as a party crew from Heartland Church in Sun Prairie visits Lee outside her home June 14 for "A Day to Remember." The church was unable to host its annual "Night to Remember" at Monona Terrace, a prom-like experience for people with special needs.
Graduates from Madison West High School’s class of 2020 parade down Chadbourne Avenue to the high school on June 13. The event mostly included graduates who live in the University Heights neighborhood.
Wearing a pool-mandated face mask, Ridgewood Pool lifeguard Zeke Sebastian works his shift at the facility Friday.
Members of the 2020 graduating class of Madison East High School celebrate with a boat parade along the Yahara River on June 12. Observing social distancing guidelines and donning caps and gowns for the occasion, the seniors were honored from the shores of the waterway with cheers, signs and music as part of the loosely organized, parent-led event in the Tenney-Lapham and Marquette neighborhoods.
Lowell Elementary School fifth-grader Zale Thoronka, second from right, celebrates his graduation with a home visit June 9 from his teacher Pam Brandt, left, and student teacher Ally Schleh, as well as his mother Kerry Zaleski, holding dog, and father Abdul Thoronka.
Masks and acrylic dividers are now part of the experience at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, the first of six Ho-Chunk casinos to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kennels intended to house napping dogs sit empty at Duncan's Dog Daycare, 4351 East Towne Way. Owner Samantha Fiscus, with her schnauzer, Duncan, hopes to make it until fall when more people could be headed back to offices and school.
Davion Sheriff, a graduating fifth-grader at Orchard Elementary School, carries the contents of his desk and locker after picking up his belongings at the school June 9. Students were invited back to the school grounds for the first time since in-person classes were canceled on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As students waited outside, teachers and staff delivered their materials in plastic bags. Pictured behind is faculty member Dominique Harvey.
Carryout orders are served through an opening in the plywood-covered facade of Himal Chuli on State Street in Madison. Many State Street businesses say they won't reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic and recent vandalism.
Cyclists pedal along Atwood Avenue Friday, where city officials used temporary barricades to close one lane to automobile traffic after the response to the coronavirus pandemic resulted in fewer cars -- and more bikes -- on the road.
Pews in the chapel of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Madison are taped to offer social distancing.
Msgr. Kevin Holmes walks among the pews at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Madison, taped off to limit seating in every other row. The church is preparing to increase its allowed attendance to 25% of capacity.
With some YMCA of Dane County summer camps starting Monday, Torrey Calkins, left, and Pricilla Driscoll organize supplies in Sun Prairie for the Discovery Day Camp. Several organizations are hosting in-person day camps, but they will look starkly different in the summer of COVID-19.
Tanesha Johnson, with Per Mar Security, takes the temperatures of men entering the temporary men's shelter at Warner Park. The temporary shelter has allowed better safety measures for guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
— including Andy Lambert and Tommy Sweeney, right — visit the outdoor seating area Wednesday at Maduro, 117 E. Main St. The 100 block of East Main Street is a block singled out by the city for expanded outdoor dining.
Jack Sosnowski, owner of Buck & Badger Northwoods Lodge on State Street, measures his tables to be at least 6 feet apart on Tuesday, May 26. Merchants across Dane County were allowed to reopen Tuesday at 25% capacity and with other restrictions mandated under the health department's reopening plan, Forward Dane.
Nathan Meronek, left, of Stevens Point, gets a tattoo Tuesday, May 26, of a snake and dagger on his arm by tattoo artist Quinn Campbell at Isthmus Tattoo and Social Club on State Street.
Visitors observe the ceremony -- with protective face masks -- put on May 23 by the Madison Veterans Council at Forest Hills Cemetery.
Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park was the only major resort in Wisconsin Dells to open for the Memorial Day weekend, but had only a minimal crowd. Up to 16,000 people a day can visit the resort but less than 2,000 were expected Saturday, May 23, amid the COVID-19 crisis and a threat of rain.
Tom Diehl, one of the deans of the state's tourism industry, will not open his Tommy Bartlett Show on Lake Delton this summer, but is hoping to stay afloat with his Exploratory Interactive Science Center. Diehl expects business to be down this season by 50% and for Memorial Day weekend, down 85% to 90%.
Hair on Monroe co-owner Tony Jensen wears one of the masks and face shields that will be required of all the salon's stylists when the business reopens.
Pinnacle Health and Fitness president Mike McMahon on May 21 displays bottles of sanitizer that will be provided to members. McMahon plans to close the gym for an hour each afternoon for deep cleaning.
Leo Jones, 5, watches the movie "Aladdin" from the window of a car during the opening night of the Duck Pond Drive-In outdoor movie series at the home of the Madison Mallards team at Warner Park in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, May 20, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
With clear skies and a high of 70 degrees there was little social distancing on display at UW-Madison's Alumni Park on May 20. Hours later, the university announced an order limiting gatherings on campus and said it would install temporary fencing along the lake shore and other popular spots to limit access. While nicer weather is on the way Thursday and Friday, public health officials are urging people to stay safe by enjoying the outdoors at a distance from others to help contain COVID-19.
Dorothy Phimmasene, a lead teacher's assistant for the Madison YMCA, helps a child wash his hands May 18 at the Lussier Family West YMCA. State officials announced a plan to provide aid to the child care industry.
Closing most of Arboretum Drive is intended to reduce potential conflicts between motorists and other visitors. The two co-exist here May 15.
Brittingham Boats employee Claire Cambray cleans a kayak after it was used by a customer. The boat rental company opened Friday, May 15, with new social-distancing and disinfecting protocols.
Doug Martyniuk, left, and his son, Dave, have lunch May 14 at Richland Family Restaurant in Richland Center. “We can’t hide under a rock," Doug Martyniuk said. "Places have to survive. I’m glad he’s open. I’m going stir crazy working from home.”
Danielle Toney Munz cleans the floor of her Richland Center salon in preparation for reopening on Friday, May 15.
Following a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling allowing for the re-opening of businesses closed during the coronavirus pandemic, patrons and workers at the Cork Down Saloon in Blanchardville, Wis. gather at the bar of the business Thursday, May 14, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Dr. Patrick Tepe, of Associated Dentists in Verona, wears two types of masks, a face shield and a single-use gown, when seeing patients such as Aaron Ruegsegger. With them is assistant Alicia Dudei. Some doctors say people should put off routine teeth cleanings because of the coronavirus, but Tepe says it's safe if dentists take precautions.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announces a new county public health order Wednesday after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state's stay-at-home order.
Beef Butter BBQ worker Katy Naig carries an order placed online to a customer's waiting car outside the business at lunchtime May 13. Patrick Riha, who opened the Sherman Avenue restaurant in 2018, said restaurant owners who have online ordering prefer customers order takeout food that way rather than on the phone.
Amy Moore, owner of Little Luxuries on State Street in Madison, tends her business Monday as area retailers prepare for a gradual reopening of their businesses.
Jeff Langner, right, works with Patricia Grillot, Madison, on finding the shoes on the first day that Morgan Shoes was open again. Stores are navigating ways to reopen after Gov. Evers' announcement that came as a surprise Monday. Morgan Shoes says they were able to reopen so quickly because they already had a plan in place for how to manage social distancing. The store was photographed Tuesday, May 12, 2020. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL
Workers wearing protective equipment get samples from people in their vehicles during a free drive-thru community testing for COVID-19 operated by the Wisconsin National Guard at Alliant Energy Center's New Holland Pavillion Monday.
Workers gather information from people wanting to be tested for COVID-19 at a free drive-thru community testing site that started Monday at Alliant Energy Center's New Holland Pavilion in Madison. The testing is run by the Wisconsin National Guard.
UW-Madison graduates, from left, Jacob Tottleben, of St. Louis, Lindsey Fischer, of La Crosse, and Olivia Gonzalez, of Milwaukee, open bottles of champagne at the State and Park Street crosswalk to celebrate after watching their virtual spring commencement ceremony on the rooftop of Fischer's apartment, on campus in Madison, Wis., Saturday, May 9, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Books requested for checkout through the Monona Public Library are placed on a table for curbside pickup. The Madison Public Library will introduce curbside pickup on Monday.
A sign in the meat department at Metcalfe's Market at the Hilldale Shopping Center in Madison, Wis., Thursday, May 7, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Homeless for months after contending with a debilitating health condition, Victor Jamrock, 53, has been spending his nights along State Street. From his perch in Lisa Link Peace Park on Thursday, the former industrial mechanic said he will be looking for a new place to stay overnight after he was asked to leave earlier in the day. Madison is now allowing homeless people to camp in certain parks, though not likely Lisa Link.
A statue of Abraham Lincoln, a traditional gathering spot for UW-Madison graduates to take "selfies" and other photographs, was fenced off to visitors just before Saturday's online commencement ceremony to avoid further spread of COVID-19.
Volunteer Chandler Krajco helps fill carts Wednesday at The River Food Pantry. To combat food shortages for those hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is proposing an initiative led by the Madison Food Policy Council to focus on food collection, storage and distribution of local agricultural products into local and regional markets.
Normally bustling in the spring, the UW-Madison Terrace in Madison, Wis. is largely deserted as the university campus remains closed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic Monday, May 4, 2020 JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Diane Agans of Madison gets a closer look at art displayed in windows as part of "Outside Looking In: A Drive-Thru Exhibition" at Garver Feed Mill.
Eau Claire-based Menards is moving toward requiring customers to wear masks in all its stores. A sign outside Menards in Monona says children under the age of 16 and pets will not be allowed in the store due to concerns about spreading COVID-19.
Attendees at Thursday's hearing of the Assembly Committee on State Affairs observe social distancing.
Memorial Library on UW-Madison's campus is closed Wednesday. Officials estimate that newly planned employee furloughs and pay cuts will save the school up to $30 million of an estimated $100 million shortfall.
A statue of Bucky Badger on UW-Madison's campus dons a makeshift face mask Monday, a reminder to stay safe and socially distant during the COVID-19 outbreak. The sculpture, created by artist Douwe Blumberg and titled "Well Red," sits next to the Union Terrace, currently closed because of the pandemic.
Unable to enter his residence due to ongoing coronavirus precautions, family members and friends of Donald Harrop celebrate his 103rd birthday through a closed doorway at the Milestone Senior Living Center in Cross Plains, Wis. Friday, April 24, 2020. Born in 1917, Harrop has now experienced two pandemics, the Spanish Flu of 1918, and the current COVID-19 crisis. Speaking to him through mobile phones are his granddaughter Tina Klimke and his great-granddaughter, Taylor Ziegler. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Motorists make their way around the state Capitol during a Friday rally against Gov. Tony Evers' extended stay-at-home order due to COVID-19.
Ani Weaver, from Dodgeville who has been a registered nurse in Madison for 17 years, speaks to the media after helping install roughly 1,300 battery operated candles to recognize people in Wisconsin that have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Madison, Wis., Thursday, April 23, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Roughly 1,300 battery operated candles are on display outside the Wisconsin State Capitol to recognize people in Wisconsin that have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Madison, Wis., Thursday, April 23, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
At Kate's Bait & Sporting Goods north of Dodgeville, owner Kate Mosley is seen through her new walk-up window, which has been equipped with a doorbell. On the inside she has a stool and credit card reader, and will take orders for bait and tackle, turkey hunting supplies and other items. Mosley is trying to stay above water as nearby lakes are closed and many boat ramps on the Wisconsin River are barricaded due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Powers works on virtually building Bascom Hall in Minecraft at his Madison apartment Thursday. The goal is to re-create the entire UW-Madison campus in the video game.
Alliant Energy Center janitor David DeGolyer cleans and sanitizes a restroom in the Exhibition Hall of the campus.
Health care providers with a SSM Health Dean Medical Group Clinic on North High Point Road send a message of thanks from the roof of their building after the clinic's entire staff received lunches from Capitol Bank, one of their neighbors, in Madison, Wis. Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The meals, offered as a way to thank the workers for their efforts during a challenging time, were purchased from several area restaurants as part of an ongoing "Power of Community" campaign organized through the Wisconsin Bankers Association.
Dr. Tom Brazelton, a pediatrician and medical director for telehealth at UW Health, talks to a nurse in a patient's room at American Family Children's Hospital. UW Health and other providers are using telehealth more for inpatient and outpatient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saris employee Jessica Lopez works adjacent to a testing apparatus at the Saris production facility in Fitchburg. With many people around the world confined to their homes, the company has seen a surge in demand for stationary trainers, which allow users to ride their bikes indoors.
Aidan Larson with the Madison Parking Utility opens envelopes with absentee ballots from last week's election at a facility on the city's East Side Monday. An unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests, and questions about whether certain ballots were mailed in time, delayed the vote count in Madison and elsewhere Monday.
Lisa Wilson, a UW Health Clinic medical technologist, processes patient samples to be tested for the COVID-19 virus in UW-Health's Molecular Diagnostic Clean Room on UW-Madison's campus.
Visitors to Governor Dodge State Park near Dodgeville gather at the entrance to a hiking trail at the park Thursday. Gov. Tony Evers has closed 40 state parks, forests and recreational areas to address public health concerns during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Rhonda Adams, Vice President & Director of Advancement at River Food Pantry, left, and Kelsey Dalrymple with some of the Easter baskets that were being handed out. River Food Pantry on Madison's Northside distributied Easter baskets to area residents along with food Thursday April 9, 2020. The Easter items were included Tuesday through today. Many of the items included are donations made due in part to the outbreak. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL
As social distancing progressed into an official order to stay in our homes, Madison has started to look more like an empty shell rather than …
Benjamin Olneck-Brown, left, and Laura Muller organize absentee ballots Tuesday at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center in Madison.
Braiya Nolan, 17, records an entry last week in her journal on the back deck of her family's home in Williams Bay. The high school junior is among more than 800 people of all ages taking part in the Wisconsin Historical Society's COVID-19 Journal Project.
Maya Banks of Madison on Tuesday protests the decision by the Republican-controlled Legislature and conservatives on the state Supreme Court to proceed with the election during a global health crisis.
Election workers outside the Madison Municipal Building wear protective medical equipment while assisting voters with curbside voting during the state's spring election Tuesday.
A window decorated by 10-year-old Amina Diallo at her home in Deforest, Wis. offers support to essential workers continuing their duties in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Part of a nationwide effort to show appreciation for those whose careers are required during the global health crisis, each color represents a different line of work. Among the groups included are healthcare workers, of which her mother, BethAnn Soiliman-Abdalla, a nurse, is included. She is pictured at her home Wednesday, April 1, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Madison Metro Transit worker Cindy Butler cleans and sanitizes one of the city's buses in the system's garage. Drivers are cleaning coaches to keep coworkers and the public safe after route cuts.
Steven King, facilities coordinator for the Madison Department of Engineering, shows off the plexiglass shields that will be installed at each of the city's 66 polling places to separate voters from poll workers in Tuesday's off-again/on-again election.
Starship robots wait to cross Park Street on UW-Madison's nearly deserted campus last week.
Dr. Matt Nolan has an "air hug" with his son Condict, 3, outside of the family's home on Madison's West Side. Dr. Maggie Nolan holds their son Arthur, 1, with Charlotte, 6, nearby. Matt Nolan, who works for UW Health, has been the main doctor recently in UnityPoint Health-Meriter's intensive care unit, which is seeing more COVID-19 patients. Out of caution, he has limited contact with the children. Maggie Nolan is doing research related to the pandemic.
Anna Hauser has had to find ways to replace the services her 14-year-old son, Xavier, is not receiving at school.
UW-Madison senior Amy Shircel, who recently recovered from COVID-19, outside her Downtown Madison apartment where she spent nearly two weeks battling the infection alone.
Employees deliver goods to customers Wednesday in the parking lot of Best Buy in Madison. County governments are bracing for sales tax revenue to plummet, but the exact impact is hard to predict as some online and pick-up sales continue.
Playgrounds in Wisconsin, including the one next to Emerson Elementary on Madison's East Side, are among the public facilities closed during the COVID-19 crisis.
All of Madison's public libraries have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, even the Little Free Libraries like this one on Hoard Street on Madison's East Side, have closed.
The main entrance and exit for UW Hospital has become a screening zone for COVID-19, as workers check visitors for potential symptoms and exposure before allowing them inside.
Health care workers at UW Health are using face shields and masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but whether the general public should wear masks has become more of a topic for debate.
A "rent strike" sign hangs from a balcony outside a home on Williamson Street in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, March 31, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Motorists are offered a $10 car wash on Williamson Street in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, March 31, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Poll worker Karen Lee Weidig helps facilitate drive-up voting Tuesday in front of the City-County Building in Madison. City officials have set up parking spaces in front of the building to help people with absentee voting.
Taking advantage of the region's trend toward more moderate, spring-like temperatures, Jeff Reimann and his daughters Silvia, 7, and Mira, 4, and their Pumi breed dog, Remy, enjoy a cargo bike ride through Vilas Park in Madison, Wis. Friday, March 27, 2020. JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL
Chad Backes, with Ducks in a Row Family Farm near Arena, was one of a handful of vendors who participated in the Dane County Farmers Markets' "Local Food Pick Up" pilot program, which began last week.
Lori and Chris Robson, of Chris & Lori's Bakehouse in Poynette, wait for customers to pick up their orders Thursday during a pilot program through the Dane County Farmers’ Market.
Businesses along Broadway in downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Thursday, March 26, 2020. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL
Wisconsin Dells Parkway in Wisconsin Dells is normally bustling with spring break traffic this time of year, but last week was largely void of vehicles. Most of the businesses in Wisconsin Dells, where tourism is a more than $1 billion industry, are closed.
Youth pastor Joe Guglielmo, left, and Nathan Rohde, worship pastor, prepare to livestream Tuesday Night Prayer at City Church, 4909 E. Buckeye Road, on March 24.
Members of the Madison Veterans' Firing Squad position themselves for a rifle salute to Christian.
“We will maintain as long as we can,” said deputy commander Joseph Lustgraaf.
Mourners stand separated in observance of social distancing guidelines Tuesday as Glen Christian is buried at Highland Memory Gardens in Cottage Grove. Restrictions on gatherings of 10 or more people have separated mourners and delayed memorial services indefinitely.
Jen Mulder, owner of the Electric Needle, prepares a batch of homemade cloth masks dropped off at her West Side store.
A jogger crosses an otherwise empty West Washington Avenue Wednesday, the first day of Gov. Tony Evers' "safer at home" order, which closed many businesses. Traffic volumes on local streets were down about 40% last week as schools closed, events were canceled and gatherings limited.
John Hicks takes a Meals on Wheels dinner out of a cooler on the porch of his Madison home after delivery by volunteer Rachel Desertspring, left. Meals on Wheels is still operating, but with special precautions. Before the outbreak, Desertspring would bring meals inside and chat in the kitchen.
Meals on Wheels volunteer Rachel Desertspring puts meals in a cooler on the Madison porch of client John Hicks. Independent Living, which runs the dinner program in Madison, and SSM Health at Home, which runs the lunch program, have been serving more people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wisconsin Senate President Roger Roth, middle right, during the mock session. The state Senate for the first time is piloting their emergency virtual session capabilities in case they need to convene outside of the building. On Tuesday March 24, 2020 Senate leadership stand-ins were using Skype and potentially other technology in the Joint Finance Committee Room to pilot a mock session. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL
Michael Heathman of Madison heads out for a round of golf Monday at The Bridges Golf Course in Madison. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the course has removed rakes from bunkers, altered green holes to eliminate the need for flag removal and limited carts to single riders.
A rider waits for a bus Monday along a shuttered State Street in Madison.
The marquee on the Orpheum Theater on State Street now speaks for businesses around the state. Under an order Gov. Tony Evers said he plans to issue Tuesday, only essential businesses will be allowed to remain open during the current public health crisis.
Hanah Jon Taylor plays the saxophone Saturday outside his jazz club, Cafe Coda, on Williamson Street that was ordered to close earlier this week along with bars and restaurants across the state due to the spread of COVID-19.
UW-Madison medical school student India Anderson-Carter, right, learned Friday where she will spend her medical residency. The "Match Day" celebration took place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She celebrates with friends and family, including her sister, Lexus, left.