In December, Dane County loosened public health restrictions just before the holiday season.
Although cases have begun to rise in recent weeks, Dane County’s most recent emergency order continues those relaxed restrictions.
In a press conference this afternoon, Public Health Madison and Dane County Director Janel Heinrich announced a new emergency order loosening some COVID-19 restrictions.
Under the new order, outdoor gatherings are now allowed for up to 50 people, with physical distancing, and low-risk sports competitions are now permitted. Much of the new order, though, mirrors the previous emergency order issued in December.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was cautiously optimistic about the coming months.
“Hang in there, we still have a tough couple of months where we have to remain vigilant, but there is hope,” Parisi said.
The new emergency order keeps in place face mask requirements and the 10 person indoor gathering limit. Businesses will continue to be limited to 50% capacity.
Since the holiday season, Dane County has seen a gradual rise in cases. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway says they are continuing to watch the uptick carefully.
Director Heinrich says current hospitalization numbers have continued to decrease, with just 71 people hospitalized as of today, the lowest number since October.
Vaccination efforts continue, with 14,000 doses administered in Dane County last week, according to Director Heinrich. She warns however that the vaccine still won’t be widely available for some time.
“We’re encouraged by the declining hospitalizations, and more people getting vaccinated everyday, but we still have a long way to go,” Heinrich said.