CHICAGO (CBS) — People living in Wisconsin are now free to visit friends and family, and go to restaurants and bars, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Gov. Tony Evers overstepped his authority by extending the state’s stay-at-home order without consulting lawmakers.
CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe looks into what it could mean for folks in Illinois.
The court’s 4-3 ruling on Wednesday essentially reopened the state, and many bars didn’t waste any time reopening, drawing large crowds.
Video from Nick’s Bar in Platteville showed patrons packed together, dancing and banging on the bar top. The video received nearly 60,000 views on Twitter before the tweet was deleted. And Nick’s was not the only Wisconsin establishment to receive a flood of visitors.
CBS Milwaukee affiliate WDJT was at Buzzard’s Nest in West Allis, which was filled with people who were eager to get out of the house after more than a month of isolation.
One bar-goer, Hayden Krueger, said he feels safe and was happy to get out.
“It’s been kinda boring sitting in my house, I love my fiancée but there’s only so much we can handle from each other without having interaction with other people,” Krueger told WDJT.
After the court ruling, Buzzard’s Nest owner Larry Prior told WDJT he called the city to make sure he could reopen, and was informed it was OK.
“It was a rough two months and we miss our customers, a lot of them are like family to us, and it was good to see a lot of familiar faces. It’s been a long time,” Prior said.
However, some local and county governments also quickly acted to enact most or all of Evers’ “safer at home” restrictions at the local and county levels.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s office said in a statement that the city’s public health order remains in place, “including all provisions on public gatherings, restaurants and bar operations,” WDJT reports.
Some business owners said the crowds are proof customers wanted the state to reopen.
Businesses that do open are being encouraged to use social distancing and have employees wear face masks. However, many who showed up to bars Wednesday night were not wearing any.
So we wanted to know what this means for Illinois towns close to Wisconsin. CBS 2 reached out to officials with some of the towns along the border to see if they are making any changes, in case people living in Illinois start traveling to Wisconsin to visit re-opened bars or restaurants.
Gurnee said they had no comment, because nothing has been discussed just yet.
Illinois State Police said officers will only stop vehicles if they have a probable cause to do so. They are working with local law enforcement to enforce the stay-at-home order in Illinois
Illinois State Police also wanted to remind everyone staying home is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.