Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect a change of wording released by county health officials.
WISCONSIN (WFRV) – Health officers for the counties of Waushara, Green Lake and Marquette are ordering the closure of all campgrounds in their respective counties until the Safer at Home order is lifted.
The three counties join a growing list of other regional campground closures, including Waupaca County, Fond du Lac County, and Oconto County. Governor Evers also issued the closure of 40 state parks, forests, and recreational areas, Thursday, “to protect public health and safety and help flatten the curve.”
This means campgrounds are closed to all vacationers and campers. The only individuals allowed to remain are seasonal site occupants that arrived on or before April 9, 2020. Any seasonal site occupant that leaves the campground to return to his or her place of residence is not permitted to return to re-occupy the seasonal site. All seasonal site occupants that arrived on or before April 9, 2020, are encouraged to return to their residences.
“We have determined that this Health Order to close all campgrounds in the counties is necessary to
prevent, suppress and control the COVID-19 virus and to protect the health, welfare, and safety of people and property in the county,” reads the joint statement.
The counties say the decision is based upon the following reasons:
- The Counties have a large percentage of aged population, and data demonstrates that the
aged population is particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.
- Our campgrounds have approximately 25 to 200 campsites each, which draw thousands of
people from both inside and outside the Counties. Waushara County has 15 campgrounds,
Green Lake County has 12 and Marquette County has 22.
- Camping in the Counties encourages non-essential travel.
- Camping visitors from outside the Counties will increase shopping at local stores for
supplies and groceries, which limits the available supplies for County residents and
increases contacts and the risk of spreading the virus.
- Camping allows for unmonitored congregating of groups greater than ten (10) people,
which is prohibited under EO #12.
- A prohibition on camping, and activities related thereto, reduces the ability to properly
social distance, especially in communal locations in campgrounds (e.g.: campsites and
County health officials say the Health Order is effective April 9, 2020 will remain in effect as long as the EO #12 is in effect, including any extensions of the order.