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Note: The order referenced below was replaced on March 14, 2020

Public Health Madison & Dane County is issuing a countywide directive to stop mass gatherings of 250 or more people to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, effective at 5:00 pm on Friday, March 13. This order will continue until further notice, or until it is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Public Health Officer.

“We are taking proactive steps to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the health of our community,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County. “We realize these orders make a substantial impact on the lives of people in our community, and we believe they are necessary to protect public health.”

Wisconsin Statute 252 outlines a health officer’s authority to take “all measures necessary to prevent, suppress, and control communicable disease.” Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

Limiting the occurrence of large gatherings of 250 or more people is important for preventing the rapid spread of COVID-19. We have been monitoring the situation across the country and are modeling our current recommendations based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other jurisdictions experiencing COVID-19.

“It is possible that as we see more cases of COVID-19, this order will need to shift to best protect the health of our community,” said Heinrich.

For events with fewer than 250 attendees, Public Health Madison & Dane County recommends the following precautionary steps:

  • Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees);
  • Social distancing recommendations should be met (limit contact of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer);
  • Proper hand hygiene and sanitation available to all attendees and employees;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information, visit the CDC’s coronavirus website, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website, or the Public Health Madison & Dane County coronavirus page.