WAUKESHA — Waukesha County took a significant leap towards returning to normal Wednesday by eliminating recommended capacity limits for large, indoor gatherings such as weddings and sporting events.
The previous recommendation advised a 50 percent capacity limit, or 250 people, for indoor gatherings. Wednesday's updated recommendation now allows for large, indoor gatherings to be as large as organizers want them to be.
That is, as long as CDC guidelines are followed.
The gatherings in question do not include daily business functions, according to a statement from the county.
The recommendation did not cap capacity for outdoor gatherings.
The guidance from the county on large gatherings was issued as a recommendation, the county pointed out Wednesday, rather than an order. County officials hope that approach will allow residents "to safely conduct business and other activities moving forward."
“Our large gathering recommendation is aligned with the tremendous progress we have made mitigating the COVID-19 virus in our community,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow in the statement.
Waukesha County has indeed made progress in vaccinating its residents. According to the state health department's COVID-19 dashboard, 30 percent of county residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 17.6 percent are completely vaccinated. That makes Waukesha County one of the most vaccinated counties in Wisconsin.
Waukesha County's move towards reopening comes after a similar move in nearby Washington County. There, County Executive Josh Schoemann announced last weekthat he wants to begin reopening businesses, churches, schools and other institutions in Washington County to full capacity.
Schoemann wrote in a statement last Thursday that he has directed the Washington and Ozaukee Public Health Department to assist in this reopening. The executive did not announce any specifics of this rollout in regard to capacity limits or other safeguards to limit the spread of the virus.
In their statement Wednesday, Waukesha County officials reminded residents to continue to socially distance when in public. They also urged residents to comply with the statewide mask order and get a vaccine as soon as possible.