Madison businesses choose transparency about positive COVID-19 cases

MADISON, Wis.– Contact tracers determined nearly half of new COVID-19 cases in Dane County are linked back to bars, according to Public Health Madison and Dane County.

While, local and state health departments don’t publicize which businesses have positive cases, some are choosing to be transparent with customers on their own.

“Sometimes you need to make a smaller, hard decision now to prevent a larger, hard decision in the future,” Great Dane Executive Chef Matt Pace said.

Two employees tested positive for COVID-19 at two different Great Dane locations. Pace said their team decided to be open and transparent on social media about how they’re handling those cases.

“We kind of went right back to our business model,” Pace said. “It was a very confident decision we all had that it was the right thing to do.”

Pace said their team had a conversation focused on respecting the privacy of employee health information.

“That was definitely a very important topic for us,” Pace said. “What our communication is, and how we do it, making sure we are following those guidelines, following those laws, respecting the privacy of individuals.”

Pace said informing people about the positive cases helps the community feel better in their own city.

“There’s so much uncertainty right now, and who knows what is right or wrong, but what we can do and what I firmly believe and the Great Dane believes, is the positive thing is to support each other in their choice,” Pace said.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said it have no immediate plans to list businesses with positive COVID-19 cases on its website.