Dane County Rolls Back COVID-19 Reopening Plan

Rise In Cases Keeps County In Second Phase With Additional Restrictions

Sara Kennely, cleans one of the dining tables at Max's Allegheny Tavern
Sara Kennely, cleans one of the dining tables at Max’s Allegheny Tavern, Thursday, June 4, 2020. The restaurant taped over the surfaces of some tables to restrict seating to maintain social distancing when patrons are permitted to dine inside when most of southwest Pennsylvania loosens COVID-19 restrictions on Friday. Keith Srakocic/AP Photo

Dane County is rolling back its reopening after positive tests for the coronavirus have spiked in recent days.

Public Health Madison and Dane County issued an order Thursday that keeps Dane County in Phase 2, but amends parts of it, saying additional measures are necessary to prevent further outbreaks.

Dane County entered Phase 2 on June 15, which allowed bars and restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity. The new order, which went into effect Thursday night, adjusts the language regarding restrictions on bars and restaurants.

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Those businesses can still operate at 50 percent capacity, but under the new order customers are required to use seating at all times and seating must be 6-feet apart from other parties. People can only be seated with members of their own household. Standing service is no longer allowed.

Private gatherings are now limited to 10 or fewer people.

The new order comes as positive tests for the coronavirus has increased significantly in the past few days. From June 20 through June 24, 279 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Dane County, which was the highest of any five day period since the outbreak began. Of those cases, 45 percent stated they had attended a gathering, party or meeting with people from outside their household.

In a release earlier this week, Public Health Madison and Dane County said few of the recent positive cases in the county have been linked to people attending protests.

From June 1 to June 22, 99 of the people who tested positive for the virus said they attended a gathering. Out of those 99, 75 said the gathering was with friends and family, while just seven reported the gathering was a protest.

According to the order, it will remain in effect until public health officials determine the criteria to implement Phase 3 has been achieved.