Evers Bans Crowds Of 50 Or More As Number Of COVID-19 Cases Rises To 47

Restaurants, Bars Ordered To Limit Capacity

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A COVID-19 warning sign is displayed along westbound Interstate-880
A COVID-19 warning sign is displayed along westbound Interstate-880, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in San Leandro, Calif. The California Department of Transportation is displaying public health messages concerning the coronavirus on the state’s more than 700 electric signs. Ben Margot/AP Photo

On Monday, the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 rose to 47, the same day Gov. Tony Evers issued strict safeguards to prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus.

Evers directed state health officials to prohibit large gatherings of 50 people or more. The order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services applies to movie theaters, fitness centers, taverns and a variety of other locations, but not child care centers, grocery stores, pharmacies or hospitals.

RELATED: Wisconsin Labs Testing For COVID-19 Are Overwhelmed

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Restaurants and bars have been ordered to reduce capacity.

Some of the people diagnosed with the disease are hospitalized in critical condition. One person has recovered.

As of 3:09 p.m. Monday, the number of confirmed cases by county is:

  • Milwaukee, 13
  • Fond du Lac, 11
  • Dane, 10
  • Sheboygan, 3
  • Waukesha, 3
  • Winnebago, 3
  • Outagamie, 1
  • Pierce, 1
  • Racine, 1
  • Wood, 1

The gathering restrictions come a week after Evers declared a public health emergency in the state of Wisconsin. Over the weekend, Evers lifted weight restrictions on trucks so grocery stores could restock depleted shelves as people stockpile food, medicine and other supplies.

State health officials announced the measures ordered by the governor as Wisconsin enters what they described as “a new phase” in the disease, which appears to be spreading person to person, also called community spread.

“The question is how widespread is community transmission in Wisconsin? We don’t know because we’ve sampled a relatively low number of individuals with symptoms,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard with DHS. “My expectation is that it is not in all Wisconsin communities but the risk is that if the trajectory continues, it could be in the future.”

Health officials stressed social distancing — staying 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds and staying home if sick.

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