Public Health Madison Dane County clarifies what Order #10 means for local businesses

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:29 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:33 PM CST
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane County’s new health orders went into effect this week. The rule bans all indoor gatherings, and limits outdoor groups to 10 people.

The language has confused local retailers and restaurant owners.

Those businesses can continue to operate as they have since July, according to Public Health Madison Dane County.

“It was confusing,” Colin Murray, owner of Kylee’s Gift Cottage said when he recalls first hearing the order. “I was concerned it was going to close down some or all of the retail establishments in Dane County.”

That’s where PHMDC Business Liaison Bonnie Koenig stepped in to clarify the new rule.

“Nothing has changed for businesses that provide retail sales,” Koenig said. “Nothing has changed for restaurants.”

Retailers can continue to operate at 50% indoor capacity. Restaurants can continue to operate at 25% percent capacity, if people follow COVID-19 guidelines.

Koenig said the purpose of the order is to limit any large gatherings of people.

“All indoor group exercise classes, meetings, trainings, conferences, any indoor movies, events or shows all cannot happen at this moment in time,” Koenig said.

Murray is thankful he’s able to stay open.

“The next 6-8 weeks are super important, for a lot of businesses,” Murray said. “Forty percent of their revenue comes within a matter of just a few weeks.”

And will do his very best to keep it that way, by following the rules.

“It’s a fine dance between being safe and trying to deal with the pandemic and get this virus out of the way and still being able to transact business,” Murray said.

The order also has not changed anything for one-on-one service jobs, like hair stylists or plumbers. To be more specific, that’s any job that requires someone to work directly with a single person, or family household unit.

Public Health sent out an update Friday afternoon, reminding everyone to only spend time with the people they live with when they’re in public.

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