FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Health officials react to large weekend gatherings

Local News

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) — The Winnebago County Health Department released a statement Monday, reacting to the “Sandbar Bash” held Saturday on Lake Butte des Morts.

Images of a large crowd drinking and wading in shallow water circulated online over the weekend.

In regards to reports of a Sandbar Bash on Lake Butte des Morts this weekend, the Winnebago County Health Department encourages anyone who has attended a gathering or event with people from outside of their household, where actions were not taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to monitor for symptoms and limit contact with others for 14 days from the event. Per the CDC, asymptomatic cases account for 40% of COVID-19 cases, which makes wearing a mask and social distancing even more critical to reducing the spread of the virus.

We all have to work together as a community to help prevent this virus from overwhelming our local resources. Following masking, distancing and handwashing guidance will help keep our most vulnerable residents safe, our businesses open and our schools able to start in-person learning.

Doug Gieryn, Director/Health Officer for the Winnebago County Health Department

Local 5 spoke with Outagamie County Health Officer Natalie Vandeveld about the risks associated with large gatherings.

“whenever people congregate together close together for a long period of time, and obviously with your speaking, coughing, that’s when the respiratory droplets can be transmitted to someone,” she said, adding the the biggest concern at large events is asymptomatic carriers spreading the virus, ” our concern is individuals that are not sick, that don’t think they are sick, could spread Covid in that manner.”

Vandeveld said that anyone who chooses to avoid large gatherings does not face a heightened risk while on normal outings, as long as social distancing recommendations are followed.

“So if I’m in a grocery store, I still social distance, even though I’m wearing my cloth face covering, ” she explained. “I’m still staying away from people and not being next to people for an extended period of time.”

Health officials recommend continuing to follow CDC Guidelines.

Ultimately, that’s a choice that everyone has to make.

“It’s a community effort,” Vandeveld said,” and everyone acting responsibly, obviously for their own choices, is very important.”

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