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New gathering guidelines sent out from public health

The Chippewa County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is recommending new guidance for individuals wanting to host gatherings. The CCDPH is now recommending indoor gatherings of 15 people or less, and outdoor gatherings of 50 people or less.

These updated recommendations, after previously set at 10 people or less, are effective immediately and come after reviewing local data. Data reviewed includes positivity rate, active cases, change in average positive cases over a fourweek period, and capacity of public health to follow up with positive cases and close contacts of positive cases in a timely manner.

“While we increased our gathering recommendations, the virus is still present in our community,” said Angela Weideman, Chippewa County Health officer/director. “Community members need to continue to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear masks when out in public. It’s important to remember that any gathering of any size comes with a risk.”

People who are vulnerable and at higher risk of severe complications of COVID-19, should continue to stay home whenever possible. This includes, but is not limited to, people over the age of 65, people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and individuals with underlying health conditions or who have compromised immune systems.

When hosting a gathering, consider the following recommendations: • Keep 6 feet between anyone on the premises that does not live in the same household unit. If a space cannot fit 15 or 50 people (indoors and outdoors, respectively) safely, reduce the number of people gathering.

• Actively screen visitors and prevent those with COVID- 19 symptoms from attending.

• Ask individuals to bring their own food, beverages and utensils. Sharing of these items can promote the spread of COVID-19.

• Frequently clean high-touch areas, such as door knobs and counter tops.