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Dane County order limiting gatherings, bar and restaurant activity now in effect

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Public Health Madison & Dane County is issuing a new order effective at 8 a.m. Thursday that limits gatherings and prohibits indoor dining and service at bars.

CLICK TO READ THE ORDER

Public Health Madison & Dane County issued the order Wednesday morning.

“For the past week, Dane County has seen a sustained, high number of cases. After consultation with our contact tracing team, gatherings and visits to bars and restaurants continue to be implicated in interviews with cases,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County said in a news release. “We are acting now to immediately curb this increase in cases and protect the health and safety of our community.”

New changes related to gatherings, bars, and restaurants (see the order for all requirements):

  • All indoor gatherings are permitted with 10 individuals or fewer not including employees. Individuals must maintain physical distancing.
  • All outdoor gatherings are permitted with 25 individuals or fewer not including employees. Individuals must maintain physical distancing.
  • At restaurants (defined in order), indoor dining capacity reduced to 25% of approved seating capacity levels.
  • Bars (defined in order) may provide takeout (no indoor dining). Customers may enter bars only for the purposes of ordering, pickup, and payment of food or beverage or while in transit.
  • Bars and restaurants are permitted to provide outdoor seating, with physical distancing.

Dane County will not be moving forward with looser orders for at least a month, according to the news release. See the Forward Dane Update PDF  for more information.

Gathering in bars in particular is a concern because groups of people mix, bars are often loud spaces that require loud talking to communicate (which can spread infectious droplets farther), alcohol impairs the judgment of patrons, and people often are not able to identify or provide contact information for the people they were in close contact with.

The order also includes clarification regarding group fitness class size. It also includes updated requirements for summer school classroom size.

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