|Today, Public Health Madison & Dane County issued a new order prohibiting all indoor gatherings and limiting outdoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer, with physical distancing. The previous limit for gatherings was 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, with physical distancing. The order takes effect Nov. 18 at 12:01 a.m. and remains in effect until Dec. 16 at 12:01 a.m.
Included in the definition of mass gatherings are:
-- Meetings, trainings and conferences;
-- Indoor group exercise classes;
-- Movies; and
-- In-person games, sports and competitions (Note: UW–Madison sports are not impacted by this order).
The capacity limit for most businesses continues to be 50 percent, and the provisions of the existing face covering order are still in effect. As with the previous order, indoor dine-in capacity for restaurants is 25 percent, outdoor restaurant seating is allowed with physical distancing and customers may enter taverns only for the purposes of ordering, pick-up and payment of food or beverage or while in transit.
In issuing this order, Public Health officials have said it is informed by data collected from contact tracing interviews that show gatherings as the biggest source of virus spread. Most Dane County residents that test positive continue to note attending a gathering, or household and non-household contact with another COVID-19 case as the source of their infection. Twenty-nine percent of cases have an undetermined source, a hallmark of the community spread that the state is currently seeing. Thanks to preventative measures put in place, businesses only account for about three percent of all cases.
This data reinforces our analysis that workplaces are not driving new infections and even counters the one-size-fits-all approach this order appears to take toward certain restrictions on business. The Chamber will continue to advocate to elected officials for maintaining an equilibrium among health, the economy and public confidence that is vital to our recovery.
Dane County and the City of Madison may issue a fine of up to $1,000 for every violation of the health order, plus court costs.
Read all of Emergency Order #10 here.
If you have additional questions about the order or other issues impacting your business, please continue to submit them through our Q&A portal here and our staff and team of regional partners will work to get you an answer. All responses are posted on our website here.