The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of Wisconsin in February 2020. As of June 1, Wisconsin has reported 18,543 confirmed cases of and 595 deaths from COVID-19.. Over the past two weeks the seven day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin has increased from 325 to 423 cases per day.
On March 16, Evers announced restrictions on the number of people that could be present at childcare facilities, limiting it to 10 staff and 50 children at the same time.
On March 17, a statewide ban of all gatherings with more than 10 people was announced by the governor.
On March 23, Evers announced closures of all non-essential businesses to be signed on Tuesday, March 24, and urged citizens to stay at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
On March 27, Governor Evers asked the legislature to approve a plan to send every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot so they could vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries, scheduled for April 7, by mail. Republicans opposed the plan. In Green Bay a judge turned down a request to delay the election but other lawsuits move forward. Authorities also refused to delay the election, despite the ban on gatherings over ten and the fact that 111 jurisdictions that do not have enough people to staff even one polling place, and 60% of all Wisconsin towns and cities were reporting staffing shortages.
On April 16, the 'Safer At Home' order was extended to be in effect until May 26.
On April 17, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said he planned not to enforce the 'Safer At Home' order, stating constitutional rights of citizens as his reasoning. His declaration is similar to concerns raised by four sheriffs in the state of Michigan.
On April 21, the Wisconsin state legislature filed suit with the state supreme court, against the governor's 'Safer At Home' order calling the executive order an overreach of the executive branch's statutory powers. The state Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of the legislature on May 13, 2020, that the 'Safer At Home' orders were improperly placed, due to the fact they were issued at the order of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service Andrea Palm, a non-elected official, whom Governor Evers had designed in his original March 12 executive order. The Court determined this violated the state's constitution and stated that such sweeping orders could be made by the standard rule-making process between both the Governor and the legislator. The 'Safer at Home' orders were immediately revoked, though local regulations could still be maintained. As a response, Dane County has reissued the "Safer At Home" for themselves.
On April 24, Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak announced that businesses would be allowed to re-open on Monday April 27, despite the 'Safer-At-Home' order issued by Governor Evers. He directed the police department not to enforce the 'Safer-At-Home' order.
On May 13, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Evers 'Safer-At-Home' orders as unconstitutional. The order, issued by Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm, was ruled by the court to be "unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable".
One week after the Supreme Court decision Wisconsin reported 528 new COVID-19 cases, the largest single day rise in new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. The second, third, fourth and fifth highest numbers of new cases also occurred in the ten day period after the Court overruled Governor Evers' "Safer-At-Home" orders. However, average daily tests increased by an average of over 1000 tests per day state wide, while the average percentage of positive test results dropped by 25% during this same 1 week period.
By May 27, two weeks after the Supreme Court overruled Governor Evers' "Safer-At-Home" orders, the seven-day moving average number of new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin had climbed steadily from 286 to 436 cases per day. The seven day average number of COVID-19 deaths remained fairly steady at 7-8 per day.
After it was announced that Governor Evers would extend the 'Safer At Home' executive order to May 26, the Tavern League of Wisconsin responded by expressing concerns about the devastating effect on the hospitality industry adversely affected by the order. Executive Director of the organization Pete Madland requested a 'soft opening' beginning May 1 with precautions utilized as it pertains to limiting the spread of the disease. The concern is that the original order has had adverse effects on the industry already and that another extension could cause many of the businesses within the industry to not survive.
Thousands of citizens protested at the Capitol in Madison on Friday, April 24 in response to Governor Evers' extension of the 'Safer-At-Home' executive order. Among the reasons for protest include many businesses that have closed or significantly reduced the workforce, which has led to hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims. Also, churches have closed their doors and about 900,000 children are not in school.
In Wisconsin, the April 7 election for a state Supreme Court seat, the federal presidential primaries for both the Democratic and Republican parties, and several other judicial and local elections went ahead as scheduled.
Due to the pandemic, at least fifteen other U.S. states canceled or postponed scheduled elections or primaries at the time of Wisconsin's election. With Wisconsin grappling with their own pandemic, state Democratic lawmakers made several attempts to postpone their election, but were prevented by other Republican legislators. Governor Tony Evers called the Wisconsin legislature into a special session on April 4, but the Republican-controlled Assembly and Senate gaveled their sessions in and out within seventeen seconds. In a joint statement afterward, Wisconsin's state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald criticized Evers for attempting to postpone the election, for not calling a special session earlier, and for reversing his previous position on keeping the election date intact.
Lawmakers' decision to not delay the election was sharply criticized by the editorial board of the local Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which had previously endorsed the Republican former governor Scott Walker. They called the election "the most undemocratic in the state's history."The New York Times characterized the election as "almost certain to be tarred as illegitimate," adding that the inability of the state's lawmakers to come to an agreement on moving the election was "an epic and predictable failure." The newspaper placed the political maneuvering as part of another chapter in "a decade of bitter partisan wrangling that saw [state Republicans] clinically attack and defang the state's Democratic institutions, starting with organized labor and continuing with voting laws making it far harder for poor and black residents of urban areas to vote." Republicans believed that holding the election on April 7, when Democratic-leaning urban areas were hard-hit by the pandemic, would help secure them political advantages like a continued 5–2 conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court (through the elected seat of Daniel Kelly).
When the election went ahead on April 7, access to easy in-person voting heavily depended on where voters were located. In smaller or more rural communities, which tend to be whiter and vote Republican, few issues were reported. In more urbanized areas, the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure and consolidation of many polling places around the state despite the use of 2,500 National Guard members to combat a severe shortage in poll workers. The effects were felt most heavily in Milwaukee, the state's largest city with the largest minority population and the center of the state's ongoing pandemic. The city's government was only able to open 5 of 180 polling stations after being short by nearly 1,000 poll workers. As a result, lengthy lines were reported, with some voters waiting for up to 2.5 hours and through rain showers. The lines disproportionately affected Milwaukee's large Hispanic and African-American population; the latter had already been disproportionately afflicted with the coronavirus pandemic, forming nearly half of Wisconsin's documented cases and over half its deaths at the time the vote was conducted. However, by the time the election concluded, Milwaukee Election Commissioner Neil Albrecht stated that despite some of the problems, the in-person voting ran smoothly.
Similar problems with poll station closures and long lines were reported in Waukesha, where only one polling station was opened for a city of 70,000, and Green Bay, where only 17 poll workers out of 270 were able to work. Other cities were able to keep lines much shorter, including the state capital of Madison, which opened about two-thirds of its usual polling locations, and Appleton, which opened all of its usual 15.
Voters across the state were advised to maintain social distancing, wear face masks, and bring their own pens. Vos, the state Assembly Speaker, served as an election inspector for in-person voting on April 7. While wearing medical-like personal protective equipment, he told reporters that it was "incredibly safe to go out" and vote, adding that voters faced "minimal exposure." Whether persuaded by Speaker Vos's hazmat-suited assurances or angered by Republican efforts to suppress their votes, Democratic voters turned out in force and helped liberal Jill Karofsky easily defeat conservative incumbent Daniel Kelly. Kelly was just the second incumbent Supreme Court justice to face defeat in Wisconsin since 1967. 
By mid-April health officials in Milwaukee identified at least seven new cases of coronavirus that appear to be linked to the April 7 election. Six of the cases are in voters and one is a poll worker. Advocates of vote-by-mail say Wisconsin's experience should be a warning to other states, saying this could be "the tip of the iceberg."
Most of state's sports teams were affected. Several leagues began postponing or suspending their seasons starting March 12. Major League Baseball cancelled the remainder of spring training on that date, and on March 16, they announced that the season will be postponed indefinitely, after the recommendations from the CDC to restrict events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, affecting the Milwaukee Brewers. Also on March 12, the National Basketball Association announced the season would be suspended for 30 days, affecting the Milwaukee Bucks.
A sign outside a church in Greenbush indicates the church's closing during the pandemic.
A sign upon a traffic barricade in front of a playground in Sheboygan notifies the public that the equipment is closed due to Evers's stay-at-home order, and of the consequences for violating it.
A sign for a Milwaukee/Chicago coffee shop chain in their Oconomowoc location indicates that the business has closed, their manufacturing operations will be unaffected, and employees will continue to be paid (the closure date on the sign has since extended further to the end of the stay-at-home order).
A card posted at a Milwaukee County Transit System bus stop regarding essential riding. A number of state transit systems, including MCTS, Madison Metro, Green Bay Metro, and Sheboygan's Shoreline Metro have suspended fares, reduced capacity to enforce social distancing and board passengers through only the rear bus doors during the pandemic to reduce driver contact to only that involving passengers needing assistive services and accommodations.