Racine Health Department to open school buildings after Jan. 15

A bit of normalcy is returning to the City of Racine, says the health administrator, after seeing nearly a one-third decrease in new cases.

Good news coming out of the City of Racine.

"Right around the Thanksgiving holiday we were seeing 1,600 individuals per 100,000 – we’re down to 580 now, which is a significant reduction," Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox said. 

After seeing nearly a 1/3 decrease in the rate of new cases…

"We also did not see the surge after Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays which we are very thankful for," she said. "Commend everyone who stayed at home that celebrated with their families, that wore a mask, did the physical or social distancing."

Some restrictions are rolling back.

"Opening the buildings, restaurants going from the 25 back to the 50 percent with a six-foot distancing, retail capabilities, or capacities, were removed, personal care establishments were removed," she said.

All school buildings are allowed to reopen after 11:59 p.m. on January 15th.

Bars, restaurants, indoor rec. facilities and swimming pools are allowed to have a 50% capacity limit – with 6ft social distancing. And retail establishments have their capacity limits lifted.

"Feels really good, but at the same point we’re very cautious. Our funding has been reduced from the State of Wisconsin," Bowersox said. "Starting January 1, I had 50% less individuals working on the contact tracing, and contacting those individuals that were positive."

Despite the change to open schools, the following will not change:

  • Many school sports will remain prohibited
  • Mass gatherings remain capped at a maximum 50 individuals for special events at private venues 
  • Indoor and outdoor mass gatherings in public venues continue to remain closed 

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"Just because I have loosened the restrictions does not mean that pandemic is going away, or that the pandemic is not here, or that individuals can be complacent because we simply can’t," she said.

Questions about the ordinance can be directed to publichealth@cityofracine.org or 262-636-9201

We’ve attempted to reach out to the Racine Unified School District for comment about the re-opening of buildings, and the potential for a return of in-person learning, but at this time – we have not heard back.

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