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UPDATE: ATVs, UTVs again allowed on Oconto County roads in trail system

WEDNESDAY 5/6/2020 2:07 p.m.

OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – A new order by Oconto County Health Officer Debra Konitzer is allowing ATV/UTV use on county roads that are part of the Oconto County Trail System to resume.

Since April 7, ATVs and UTVs were not allowed to utilize county roads.

Under the updated order, Konitzer emphasizes that those using Oconto County trails should practice social and physical distancing guidelines. This means keeping six feet between yourself and others, and to not gather with people who live outside of your household.

In addition to social and physical distancing, Oconto County Public Health encourages the public to take the following steps when using the county’s trails:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Return to your place of residence if you become ill.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing and sanitizing hands often.
  • Bring enough food and other supplies with you for the extent of your stay.
  • Limit your stops at gas stations and grocery stores while in the county.

Oconto County-owned boat launches reopened at the end of April after being closed amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Public and private campgrounds were also ordered to remain closed with one exemption for seasonal camping sites.

Oconto County campgrounds to remain closed through May, seasonal camping sites exempt

THURSDAY 4/23/2020 11:37 a.m.

OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – While Oconto County-owned boat launches will reopen, Health Officer Debra Konitzer says public and private campgrounds will remain closed with one exemption for seasonal camping sites.

Health Officer Order #4 goes into effect on Friday, April 24, at 8 a.m. and will remain in effect until Tuesday, May 26, or as otherwise ordered by Oconto Public Health.

“We understand the many disruptions and sacrifices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we appreciate our residents’ willingness to continue to adapt to these changes,” says Konitzer. “The measures in this order are meant to prevent gathering and promote social distancing which we know is our best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Seasonal camping sites are those for extended stay (for example, 6 months) and typically have a contract. Seasonal sites are exempt from this order and may remain open with restrictions for both the campgrounds and seasonal site occupants.

Under Konitzer’s order, campgrounds are required to comply with the Safer at Home order as well as close swimming pools, beaches, hot tubs, and exercise facilities. Guests are not allowed to congregate in common areas and also must provide enough space for people to practice social distancing in common areas. Oconto County campgrounds must prohibit the use of any building that encourage social gatherings, like bathrooms and laundry facilities. Campsites must be limited to members of a single household or living unit and prohibit all other private gatherings of any number of people.

Seasonal site occupants are required to follow the Safer at Home Order. This means to maintain social distancing of six feet at all times, remain at their place of residence except for the exceptions allowed in the Safer at Home Order and to not host any gatherings of any number of people that are not part of their single household/living unit.

“Oconto County Public Health anticipates cooperation and support of these measures from campgrounds and seasonal site owners as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe and healthy,” stated Konitzer.

The City of Oconto and Oconto County recently opened their boat launches after recently closing them in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


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Oconto County-owned boat launches to reopen

WEDNESDAY 4/22/2020 2:55 p.m.

OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – Oconto County-owned boat landings will reopen on Friday, April 24, following a new order issued by the county health officer.

A previous order had closed the county-owned boat landings in early April.

“The COVID-19 public health emergency has required sacrifices from all of us and continues to be a challenging situation to adjust to,” stated Debra Konitzer, Oconto County Health Officer. “We share people’s concerns about COVID-19, and we also understand that outdoor activities like fishing are encouraged. It is important to enjoy fishing opportunities in waters close to home and to limit travel.”

While boat landings will open, Konitzer says all public facilities that encourage social gathering of any number of people will be closed. The order states that boat landing users are expected to maintain social distancing guidelines of keeping six feet between themselves and others. Users are also expected to not gather with people who live outside of their household.

“Those using the boat landings are expected to take all precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19 and other diseases,” stated Konitzer. “We need people to follow the social distancing guidelines listed in the order. Frequent hand washing, or use of hand sanitizer, and wearing a cloth face mask are also important steps in stopping the spread.”

If these requirements are not met, the launches may be closed again, according to Konitzer. Failure to comply could result in a fine or criminal prosecution.

The order comes just hours after the City of Oconto announced its boat launches would reopen.


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Original Story: Oconto County issues order closing county campgrounds and boat landings

TUESDAY 4/7/2020 3:56 p.m.

OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oconto County Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday that all the Oconto County-owned campgrounds and boat landings will close at 5 a.m. on April 8. ATV use on county roads will be suspended at the same time.

Oconto County Health Officer, Debra Konitzer, says the closings will remain until further notice.

Konitzer notes and one of the reasons the order was issued was that, “These outdoor activities draw many people in from outside of our county, increasing our population and putting a burden on our healthcare system. Limiting travel is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Related: City of Oconto closes boat launches for the safety of residents, visitors

Oconto County is asking its residents to stay close to home if they are outdoors and to practice social distancing if they are out in the community.

Konitzer says, “We understand this can be a challenging situation to adjust to.”

She continues, “This public health emergency is requiring sacrifices from each of us, but we all must do what we can to help save lives and stop the spread of this virus.”

For a listing of the boat landings, campground and county roads included in this order visit Oconto County’s website.


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