'Safer Racine' revs up restrictions to slow COVID-19 spread

The City of Racine will enforce stricter restrictions on gathering and occupancy in public and private venues to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the city's public health administrator announced Monday, Nov. 23. 

The revised Safer Racine ordinance goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, and applies only to the City of Racine.

The updated ordinance comes after records have shown a spike in cases in the city following holidays.

The plan includes modifications to rules for long term care facilities, daycares, indoor recreational facilities, pools, zoos, mass gatherings, and other venues:

  • Capacity of bars and restaurants to 25%, and 50% capacity in all retail establishments including personal care facilities, like salons and tattoo parlors, as long as social distancing can be maintained.
  • Long term care facilities, childcare, and daycare programs receive additional guidance and restrictions on the interactions of their clients.
  • Indoor recreational facilities such as gyms and yoga studios also have reduced capacity to 25% as long as social distancing can be maintained.
  • Special events at places of worship, outdoor places of amusement and activity, and both indoor and outdoor mass gatherings at private venues are limited to 50 people with some exemptions. 

“COVID-19 is being spread throughout the community in terms of numbers of cases and positivity rates that we have never seen before," said Dottie-Kay Bowersox, City of Racine Public Health Administrator. "Outbreaks continue to be linked to gatherings of friends and family on private property with people from outside of their immediate households including sports parties, baby showers, backyard gatherings, and wedding receptions. Additionally, we continue to see activity at local manufacturers, retailers, bars, and restaurants."

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“I am fully aware of the disappointment and anger that some in the community will feel at new measures and restrictions being issued," Bowersox said. "I understand that we are all ready for COVID-19 to be gone. However, we will continue to have to make these tough decisions to slow the spread of COVID-19 until everyone in this community takes personal responsibility for slowing the spread of this virus.

The public health administrator says the city's positivity rate for the virus is 31% while Wisconsin remains a hot spot in the nation, averaging more than 6,500 new cases a day. 

"The community must realize that inconveniences now, like wearing a mask properly and not participating in family gatherings outside of your immediate household, are necessary to protect public health and save lives long-term," she said.

For full details and copies of the updated “Safer Racine” ordinance — CLICK HERE

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