On Thursday, September 3, 2020, Waukesha County updated its large gathering recommendation in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new guidance advises indoor venues may host events at 50% capacity, or up to 250 individuals, whichever number is less, with a focus on maintaining appropriate social distancing. Outdoor events may exceed 250 individuals when proper outdoor space, separation of groups, social distancing, and other CDC guidelines are followed. Previous recommendation advised that groups of up to 100 people could gather. The recommendations apply to special events such as weddings and sporting events, not daily business functions.
“The decision to increase the large gathering recommendation is based on a methodical course of action,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “Positive cases of COVID-19 have significantly decreased in each of the past three weeks, hospitals can safely treat all local patients, testing capabilities remain sufficient, and our team of disease investigators and contact tracers has grown tenfold to a force of over 200 people.”
All individuals, when in public, should consider maximizing physical distance from others. When physical distancing is not possible, individuals should wear a mask.
Indoor Setting Guidance
All large events in which individuals congregate in a social setting, should limit capacity to 50% or 250 individuals, whichever is less, with a focus on maintaining appropriate social distancing.
Outdoor Setting Guidance
Taking into account recommendations provided by the CDC, if the outdoor space allows, and the ability to separate groups of people is feasible, certain large gatherings could safely accommodate more than 250 individuals. In these cases, special attention should be paid to appropriate social distancing and other measures, like wearing masks in places where people congregate, such as restrooms and concession areas.
The large gathering guidance has been issued as a recommendation, rather than an order, to allow residents to safely conduct business and other activities moving forward. Waukesha County reevaluates its large gathering recommendation at regular intervals. The recommended number of people that should socially gather may either increase or decrease based upon the status of area hospitals and other data. In the case of a dramatic increase in cases of COVID-19, or the inability of area hospitals to care for patients in need of treatment, the county may be forced to issue orders to help reduce the spread of the disease. More information about Waukesha County’s response to COVID-19 is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov/covid19.