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Dane Co. Health Board rejects petition that calls for stricter COVID-19 response

Public Health Madison & Dane County’s Board of Health has rejected a petition that called for a far stricter response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the county.
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 2:02 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Public Health Madison & Dane County’s Board of Health has rejected a petition that called for a far stricter response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the county.

A spokesperson for the health department confirms to NBC15 News Thursday that the Board discussed the petition at a public meeting Wednesday, and did not recommend any further action in response. The backers of the petition attended the meeting, according to the spokesperson.

As NBC15 News reported, hundreds of people signed the petition that called for all non-essential businesses and gatherings to be shut down in Dane County.

Malia Jones, a Madison schools parent and an infectious disease epidemiologist, wrote in the petition that “allowing adults to congregate in bars, restaurants, gyms, retail locations, and private parties is absolutely not essential and is actively compromising the health, safety, and education of the children of our county, particularly the most vulnerable. This is a major failure of the social contract.”

Jones cited personal reasons for tighter restrictions, telling NBC15 about the difficulties she faced while working from home and helping her then-kindergartner with virtual learning. She said, “When I think about how this is going to work for other families in the district who don’t have all the advantages that we do, I really worry about those families and how they’re going to fare”

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi commented in a statement at the time that “mask wearing and reducing incidents of people gathering together are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Until there is an effective vaccine, they are the best tools we have available.”

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