SafetyCulture Summit 2020

Wisconsin Reopening Checklist

Reopening resource tools to help Wisconsin get safely back to business

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Published August 4th, 2020

Wisconsin Reopening: How are the Badgers Bouncing Back?

On April 20, 2020, the government of Wisconsin announced the Badger Bounce Back program, a plan which aims to guide the gradual reopening of Wisconsin toward the economy’s new normal.

The Badgers Bounce Back plan for Wisconsin is a phased reopening strategy that requires certain gating criteria and core responsibilities to be met. Here is a summary of the state’s reopening phases:

Phase 1: Mass gatherings of up to 10 people resume; restaurants open with social distancing requirements; removal of certain restrictions including retail restrictions for Essential Businesses and Operations; additional operations for non-essential businesses; K-12 schools to resume in-person operation; child care settings resume full operation.
Phase 2: Mass gatherings of up to 50 people resume; restaurants resume full operation; bars reopen with social distancing requirements; non-essential businesses resume operations with social distancing requirements; postsecondary education institutions may resume operation.
Phase 3: All business activity and gatherings resume, with minimal protective and preventative measures in place for the general public and more protective measures for vulnerable populations

In mid-May, some cities and municipalities in Wisconsin have already begun with Phase 1 of the reopening plan and are carefully treading before going to the next stages. In mid-June, Wisconsin counties including Dane County, Milwaukee County, and Rock County, have already moved to Phase 2 as they have met sufficient benchmarks of Wisconsin’s reopening plan gating criteria.

Best Practices to Keep Wisconsin Businesses Safe While Reopening

Wisconsin business and entities that have reopened should always be on their toes and continue to strictly enforce and proactively improve policies to protect employees and customers from exposure to COVID-19. The lifting of restrictions constantly evolves overtime and it is possible that some areas may need to roll back reopening plans if the pace of coronavirus infections increases. With this, here are some of the best practices to help guide Wisconsinite business owners in keeping their people safe while reopening amid COVID-19:

Continually improve plan to protect employees

  • Always have conversations with employees and get their insights regarding the effectiveness of the reopening plan.
  • Activate strategies and policies that protect older workers, people with higher risk of severe illness, and people with underlying medical conditions.

Inform and educate workers

  • Provide regular updates to let employees know what they can expect as the business reopens.
  • Visual communication tools such as posters should be posted at areas where employees and customers are likely to see them.
  • Develop training materials to share with employees to help them know more about how they can remain within and outside the premises of your facility.

Reiterate and review policies in place

  • Reiterate policy on the importance of social distancing in reducing the risk of infection within your organization. The capacity of customer-facing businesses should be reduced to ensure that adequate distancing is possible.
  • Train workers who need to use PPE on how to put it on, use/ wear it, and take it off correctly. Training materials should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language.
  • Communicate policies on employee quarantine/return to work, especially for those who have just returned to work.
  • Strengthen cleaning and disinfection plan.Minimize exposure by involving as few employees in this process as possible.
  • Keep up-to-date with updates from the state’s travel and transportation authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest travel advisories and recommendations.

Identify and isolate newly-ill persons

  • Always encourage employees to self-monitor symptoms. Develop a procedure for employees to report when they are sick.
  • Develop procedures for isolating ill employees, and train workers to implement them.

To help provide customized and refined guidance for different types of businesses, specific Reopen Guidelines were issued by the Governor’s administration on May 8 to help businesses in creating and refining reopening plans. Refined reopening guidelines were offered for a variety of industries, such as Construction, Gyms and Fitness Centers, Hospitality/Lodging, and Retail Operations.

Businesses are encouraged to visit www. or reopen-guidelines for the latest information and resources related to Wisconsin’s response to this health emergency.

Reopening Tool to Help Wisconsinites Continue to Bounce Back

As the state of Wisconsin undergoes reopening to help get the economy get back on track, it is vital for Wisconsinite business owners to lead their organizations in continuing to strictly adopt business practices that can help them remain safe during the current pandemic.

With the use of reopening checklists, Wisconsinite leaders can ensure strict implementation of reopening guidelines from local authorities and industry associations, such as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

To help Wisconsinites continue to bounce back, business owners can use free Wisconsin reopening checklists from iAuditor by SafetyCulture and help give their employees and customers peace of mind as the state moves forward.

Disclaimer: Please note that these checklists are hypothetical examples and provide basic information only. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.


John Derick Flores

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Dirk is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture who has 3+ years of experience being a Safety Officer in an international airline. Over the course of his tenure, he worked on projects involving training management, ramp safety inspections, quality & safety certification audits, and safety promotion programs. Further, he is interested in maximizing the power of technology to help make the world a better place.