Photos of Lake Mendota party, its aftermath spark attention on social media

MADISON, Wis.– Two photos of a gathering and its aftermath are grabbing attention this weekend.

The first photo shows hundreds of people gathering on a melting Lake Mendota on March 6. It doesn’t look like people were socially distancing and no masks are visible.

The second photo shows all the trash that was left behind the next day.

By 5:30 p.m. Sunday, most of the trash was cleaned up on the ice.

A University of Wisconsin-Madison spokesperson said groups gathering should recognize both the risks of COVID-19 and thinning ice.

“We have and will continue to urge students to stay in compliance with campus testing and continue to follow safety protocols, including distancing, event size limits and most importantly, following campus and PHMDC masking and physical distancing rules. We urge everyone to wear a mask and maintain six feet physical distance,” spokesperson Meredith McGlone said in a email.

The lake is in Dane County’s jurisdiction. Therefore, Public Health Madison and Dane County orders apply.

The current Public Health Madison and Dane County order limits outdoor gatherings with food and drink to 100 people. That will increase to 350 people when order #14 starts on Wednesday.