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As I See It

Can county limit bar crowds?

Scott Robert Shaw

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If it can work in Madison, then why not La Crosse? Like La Crosse, Madison is seeing a surge in cases of the coronavirus, and like La Crosse, the latest outbreak is overwhelmingly among young people. But unlike La Crosse, Dane County has issued an order regulating how many people can be an establishment at a time, and how close they can be to one another. The order limits bars and restaurants in Dane County to 50% capacity. Patrons must remain seated, and remain six feet from other parties. They made the decision based on contract tracing of the recent cases. Many of the recently sick admitted to having been at bars and restaurants, and a number of others were infected as a result. We have heard such stories from downtown La Crosse, where in some cases bars are busy like it was Oktoberfest. La Crosse County continues to argue it does not have the authority to issue orders for bars and restaurants to close, citing potential litigation. But if Madison can at least limit capacity, and work to keep people apart, even while enjoying a nice meal or a cold beverage, then why can’t La Crosse county?

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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