Public health officials urge Wisconsinites to cut back on non-essential visits, gatherings

MADISON, Wis. – As Wisconsin set a single-day record for new Coronavirus cases, officials are asking for residents to cut out any and all non-essential gatherings and visits.

“We just are in a place where we need to stop it as much as possible,” said DHS Secretary Designee Andrea Palm during an online briefing. “Dinner parties, small private gatherings, Packer watch parties, retirement parties, birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, all of this is why we have been encourage why people should stay at home as much as possible.”

Public Health Madison Dane County says there are currently more than 12,000 active COVID cases, and more than 1/3 of new case subjects have no idea where or how they got the virus.

“Please, as the weather changes and in general, think different about how you gather socially,” said Director Janel Heinrich.

Heinrich says in addition to an increase of cases, Dane County has seen a demographic shift as well, with the majority of cases falling into the 23-39 age range.

“The reality is anytime you come into contact with someone indoors for a prolonged period of time, whether it’s two people or ten, the risk is there,” said Dr. Nasia Safdar of the UW Health System. “The less people, the better.”

Dr. Safdar, who serves as Director of Infection Prevention, says while Wisconsin was once a model for COVID prevention, fatigue has led to many letting their guard down and catching the virus.

“Despite these desperate efforts to get back to normality, I think we need to accept that reality will look very different until we have a good vaccine,” she said.