Home covid Dane County increases gathering and capacity limits for all businesses

Dane County increases gathering and capacity limits for all businesses

Restaurants and other businesses may open to 75 percent approved capacity under a new order from Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) that takes effect Wednesday.

Additionally, indoor gatherings with food and drink may now include 350 people, and indoor gatherings without food and drink can now hold as many as 500. Masks are still required indoors when not eating and drinking, as is distancing between households.

Outdoor gathering limits remain unchanged from last months order: there is no outdoor gathering size limit, but capacity must allow for people who don’t live together to maintain six feet of distance.

“Because our COVID-19 vaccination rates are among the highest in the state and the number of cases we’ve seen each day have stabilized, we are increasing gathering and capacity limits for all businesses,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County, in a statement. “Although more spaces are opening, people should still participate in activities based on their comfort with risks, because although we are making progress, we aren’t out of the woods yet.”

Additional provisions of the new order include:

  • Face coverings are not required when actively playing an instrument that has a bell cover, as long as people are six feet apart at all times.
  • Restaurants and taverns indoor dine-in capacity may be up to 75% of approved seating capacity, with physical distancing (up from 50% for restaurants and 25% for taverns).
  • Businesses must limit the number of individuals inside their establishment to 75% of approved capacity levels indoors (up from 50%).

The order goes into effect May 5 and will be in effect until June 2, 2021.

When the last order was enacted on April 7, the seven-day case average was 78 and the seven-day hospitalization average was 23. As of April 26, the seven-day case average was 64 and the seven-day hospitalization average is 32. Hospitalizations remain five-fold lower than the fall 2020 peak. On April 7, 39.2% of Dane County residents had at least one dose of vaccine. As of yesterday, that number was 58.4%.

“Vaccination is our path out of this pandemic,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “People who are vaccinated are able to do things safely that unvaccinated people can’t, like hugging loved ones and gathering with friends without having to worry about masking or distance. Get vaccinated and get back to doing the things you love.”

Vaccine is readily available at the Alliant Energy Center community vaccination site. Appointments are recommended but not required. More information on vaccines is available here.