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Large event hosts monitoring Coronavirus updates; for now, it’s business as usual

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County is set to host a number of large gatherings in the coming months. Those hosting the events said Thursday they are discussing possible contingency plans should the new coronavirus strain spread in Southern Wisconsin. For now, they're proceeding as planned while following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local health officials.

Next month, the Alliant Energy Center will host the Midwest Horse Fair, which brings about 61,000 attendees to Madison. In July, the CrossFit Games will bring competitors from all over the world. Organizers with both the horse fair and CrossFit Games did not respond to messages Thursday.

Sharon Corrigan, Interim Director for the Alliant Energy Center, said the venue is exploring possible means of improving sanitation at the coliseum, including the addition of more hand sanitizer stations.

As far as possible cancellations or restrictions, Corrigan said she's following advisories from the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services, neither of whom are currently advising against large public gatherings.

Speaking to lawmakers Wednesday at the Capitol, DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said state health officials are monitoring the transmission of the virus around the nation where have now been more than a dozen deaths, mostly in Washington state.

"Obviously, as this situation evolves, as things change here in Wisconsin and around the country, our guidance as it relates to large gatherings could change as well," Palm said.

Destination Madison books large events at Monona Terrace. In a statement Thursday, President and CEO Deb Archer said:

"Destination Madison is closely monitoring activity as it relates to COVID-19 and the travel industry. At this time, no federal restrictions are in place in response to the COVID-19 virus that would prevent meetings and travel in the United States, including travel to Madison."

Archer's statement added that Destination Madison is also following for any updates from the CDC, U.S. Travel Association, as well as state and local health officials.

Todd Clark, Director of Communications for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, said the WIAA has not yet had any discussions about contingency plans related to the coronavirus.

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A. J. Bayatpour

Reporter, WKOW 27

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