Rock County moves to Phase 2 of reopening plan

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This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Public health officials have announced Rock County will move to Phase 2 of its reopening plan.

A news release Tuesday said the biggest change is a shift from 25% to up to 50% capacity for most businesses. Officials said those capacity limits may be lower based on the facility’s ability to practice social distancing measures.

The new phase is effective immediately.

Health officials said the decision was made as a result of there being multiple weeks of sustained improvements to disease spread across the county. The same can be said for Dane County, which will also loosen gathering restrictions beginning next week.

Rock County reported an average of 14 new cases per day over the last seven days, the lowest average since late August. Hospitalizations have also seen a significant drop, as an average of nine patients have been hospitalized with the virus over the past two weeks. The difference is staggering, as the average hospitalization count was 74 in mid-November.

The release said the mask mandate is still in effect despite the county’s switch to Phase 2.

For a full look at Rock County’s reopening plan, click here.