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Madison Mayor warns of compliance checks, public health order enforcement, ahead of game day

The Madison Mayor and Public Health Madison & Dane County are urging the community to avoid large gatherings
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:32 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With coronavirus restrictions and health orders in place, the area surrounding Camp Randall will likely look very different on Friday for the first Badger football game of the year. Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway as well as Public Health Madison & Dane County warned Thursday that there will be compliance checks on game day.

“It’s definitely been crazy times, we’re excited to have Badger football back and hopefully going to get some people in and draw up a little bit of business for Regent Street and the city as a whole,” said Lucas Simon-Wambach, general manager of Sconnie Bar on Regent Street.

Simon-Wambach said he and the Sconnie Bar staff have been preparing for game day, while trying to “figure out all the rules and regulations that are in place for us safety-wise.”

To comply with capacity limits, Simon-Wambach said Sconnie Bar, which usually has thousands of people pass through its doors on a normal game day, will have limited tables.

“Where we’d normally have a 1,200 person capacity, we’ll have 30, 32 tables out there with a max of six people per table,” he said.

Sconnie Bar and other establishments, including Lucky’s 1313 Brew Pub, are using LineLeap as a way for customers to reserve limited tables ahead of time.

“We’re asking people to show up an hour before the game starts, which would be six o’clock, so we can check everybody in, do temperature checks at the door, making sure everyone understands the rules and the regulations that we have to follow, and understanding that their safety is one of our priorities and our main priority,” said Lucky’s bar manager Scott Hellestad. “They can see that through the table layout, we can’t do more than six at a table, everything’s evenly spaced out six feet apart.”

Both Hellestad and Simon-Wambach said they’re looking forward to having people come out for game day.

“We’re hoping that people will still come out and have a great time but do it in a safer fashion than some of the parties they may be tempted to have at home,” Simon-Wambach said.

Those kinds of parties are exactly the type of gatherings city officials are aiming to avoid.

“If you watch the game, please watch the game with those in your household, discouraging any larger gatherings,” said Kate Austin-Stanford, Director of Operations for Public Health Madison & Dane County. “We’ve been working as a department with bars across the Regent Street area as well as houses there and visiting houses and talking to folks about best practices on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19, because we’re seeing increased case levels across the community.”

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said public health orders will be enforced.

“We will be enforcing these rules, particularly around football and Halloween,” Rhodes-Conway said. “Public Health Madison & Dane County is working with the City of Madison police department, the UW-Madison Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and the UW police department, as well as City of Madison attorney’s office to ensure compliance with the public health orders.”

Rhodes-Conway said for those who violate the order, there is the possibility of citation, and for those affiliated with the university, possible consequences on the campus side.

“We’re hopeful that people will get out and support the bars and the restaurants and fill the city safely,” said Simon-Wambach.

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