How new Dane Co. health order could impact larger, outdoor events

The order goes into effect April 7.
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Public Health Madison and Dane County’s new health order, announced Friday, brings big changes to restrictions outdoors. With the loosened requirements, county leaders said they are hopeful the move will allow more outdoor events in the warmer months.

Starting April 7, people in Dane Co. will not be required to wear masks outside. There also will not be a capacity limit for outdoor gatherings, provided everyone can stay socially distant.

Up until this point, restrictions kept the president of Big Top Sports and Entertainment, Vern Stenman, from making any final plans for both sporting and non-sporting events. Stenman’s role includes management of the Madison Mallards, and he oversees management of Breese Stevens Field.

“We think it’s a step in the right direction. We are still trying to work through the interpretations of all the different elements in the new order,” Stenman said.

He said they are currently re-evaluating what the upcoming season at both locations looks like.

“We know how to do it safely. We just want to make sure we are doing it in a manner that is consistent with the expectations of the public health department,” he said.

City and county leaders said Dane Co. is making progress, but stressed health precautions will need to be followed. The updated order did not change restrictions for indoor events.

“With lifting the restriction on the numbers of people, we are hopeful we will have a lot more events this summer,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

While the move is a promising sign for larger venues, Stenman said there is a lot to work through as they plan for the months ahead.

“Hopefully as we continue to interpret this rule, we will be able to put the finishing touches on all of those plans,” he said.

The Madison Mallards and Forward Madison both have their first home games in May.

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