The Door County Board of Supervisors will meet in a special meeting Friday morning to discuss issuing a county-wide masking order for people when indoors or when social distancing is not practicable. County Chair Dave Lienau called the meeting and said he is a proponent of the order.
“I’m pushing for it, but so are a lot of business owners and constituents,” he said. “Business owners have asked us to give them something they can use to say it’s a public health order.”
Details on the meeting time will be posted at DoorCountyPulse.com.
The meeting comes after Door County Public Health reported its 52nd positive test for COVID-19 on July 8 – the 18th new case reported since mid-June. That came after an Independence Day holiday that drew huge crowds to the peninsula.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it busier than this year,” said Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Arleigh Porter. Beaches were packed; boat-rental companies reported days of solid bookings; and Peninsula State Park staff turned away vehicles as parking lots reached capacity.
The influx of traffic stoked fears that a greater rise in positive cases is on the way after Door County weathered Memorial Day and most of June without significant increases.
Of the 50 positive tests in the county, 41 are reported to have recovered, and three have died. Neighboring Kewaunee County reports 64 cases and one death. Statewide, 255 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, down from an early-April peak of 446, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
Before the holiday weekend, Door County Public Health issued a statement urging continued vigilance, mask wearing and social distancing by locals and visitors.
“As we enter the peak of our tourist/busy season, we are at an important crossroads for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19,” the statement read. “Our neighboring counties and states are seeing significant increases in the number of positive cases. With the increase in visitors and activity in our local community, it is imperative now more than ever that we all practice the public-health safety guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.”
Those guidelines include wearing a cloth face covering at all times in public, maintaining at least six feet of distance from anyone who is not in your household and avoiding all large gatherings, events and crowded areas.
The statement was issued with the support of 27 Door County municipalities, medical facilities, fire departments and tourism-promotion entities.