Perhaps a bit of confusion with COVID-19 still running rampant and Oktoberfest set to begin Thursday in La Crosse — a year after being cancelled.
La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds tried to quell some of that confusion with a statement Monday in regards to the celebration.
“Recently, there have been questions about La Crosse County Health Department COVID-19
safety guidance in relation to large events and especially how that may impact planning for
Oktoberfest in La Crosse,” Reynolds said. “I have been assured by the county that nothing new has been added to the guidance it provided to the Oktoberfest organization in August and the health department has no new concerns with events surrounding Oktoberfest.”
Reynolds added that he’s convinced outdoor activities can happen while still limiting the spread of COVID-19 with precautions we’ve heard for two years now — masks, social distancing, along with vaccinations that the U.S. has had since January.
The biggest risk, Reynolds noted, were those who do not take those precautions, especially when gathering indoors in large groups.
“None of that activity is under the control of the Oktoberfest organization and would occur regardless of whether we had sanctioned parades or events for Fest,” Reynolds said. “It might be noteworthy to point out that, while I have been asked about County Health Department recommendations about large gatherings, La Crosse County government representatives are hosting hundreds attending a mostly indoor Wisconsin Counties Association convention in La Crosse this week.”
That convention has taken place since Sunday at the La Crosse Center and ends Tuesday.