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Dane County loosens pandemic restrictions in new order

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Public Health Madison & Dane County announced Emergency Order #14 Tuesday for COIVD-19 guidelines.

Emergency Order #14 eases some of the restrictions put in place to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It increases gathering limits, updates the school protective measure policy requirements, allows restaurants to open to 50% capacity and enable taverns to open to 25% capacity, with certain safety requirements.

The order will go into effect 12:01am on March 10.

The differences between the current order #13 and the new order #14 are:

  • Gatherings inside where food or drink is offered or provided is limited to 150 individuals. A Gathering inside where food or drink is not offered or provided is limited to 350 individuals. Individuals must maintain six feet physical distancing and face coverings are required.
  • Gatherings outside is limited to 500 individuals. Individuals must maintain six feet physical distancing. Face coverings required at gatherings of more than 50 individuals.
  • The school protective measure policy requirements were updated and includes items about employee face coverings and distancing, distancing for students, and student groupings.
  • Restaurants may open up to 50% their capacity.
  • Taverns must limit indoor dine-in capacity to 25% of approved seating capacity levels. Space tables and chairs to ensure at least six (6) feet physical distancing between customers who are not members of the same household or living unit.

The guidelines that will remain the same between Order #13 and Order #14 are:

  • Face coverings are required in enclosed buildings, while driving with people who are not part of your household, and outdoors at a restaurant or tavern. The types of face coverings allowed was updated to reflect new CDC recommendations.
  • Businesses continue to be limited to 50% of approved building capacity and must have written cleaning and hygiene policies in place.
  • Provisions for continuing education and higher education institutions, industry-specific requirements, health care, public health, human service, infrastructure, manufacturing, government, and religious entities and groups remain unchanged.

Along with the announcement Public Health released an updated tool to assess Dane County's progress through the pandemic, called Forward Dane: Updating Metrics in Light of Vaccination Progress. Which includes a new set of measures that emphasize vaccine dissemination and epidemiology.

This is a developing story.

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