Evers, Palm limit indoor public gatherings
Star Journal Report
Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an emergency order to limit public gatherings to no more than 25% of capacity.
The order takes effect 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 through Nov. 6, 2020, and applies to “any gatherings at locations that are open to the public such as stores, restaurants and other businesses that allow public entry,” including ticketed events. It is noted the duration of the order limiting indoor gathering size is for two incubation periods of COVID-19.
“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” said Gov. Evers. “We are continuing to experience a surge in cases and many of our hospitals are overwhelmed, and I believe limiting indoor public gatherings will help slow the spread of this virus. Folks, we need your help and we need all Wisconsinites to work together during this difficult time. The sooner we get control of this virus, the sooner our economy, communities, and state can bounce back.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System responded to the news with a press release stating that “additional actions need to take place in Wisconsin to limit the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
“We encourage you to remain strong and vigilant in your response to the pandemic,” the press release states. “Support your favorite local restaurants by ordering takeout and find other ways to support local businesses while limiting the spread of this virus. We would also encourage our counties and communities to come together to work with their public health officials to determine what orders or efforts may work to help contain the virus with actions specific to their community’s needs. The faster that we come together to address this head on, the faster we can resume more of the daily activities that make Wisconsin a great place to live.”
There are a number of exemptions to the order, including schools, child care, health care operations, pharmacies, human services operations, public infrastructure operations, government operations and facilities (including polling locations), places of religious worship, political rallies, demonstrations, state and federal facilities. A full listing of exemptions is available here.
“The unfortunate reality is this: the disease activity level of COVID-19 in Wisconsin is so high that going to a gathering puts you at very high risk of exposure,” said DHS Secretary-designee Palm. “We know gatherings are a key way this virus spreads, so we must act to limit indoor gatherings to stop the spread, reduce illness, and save lives.”
Palm reported 2,020 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, 18 new deaths and a seven-day average of 2,346 cases, up from 836 cases one month ago.
For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS webpage.