FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WFRV) The New York Times has given the Oshkosh-Neenah area the unflattering distinction of being 6th in the nation with rising COVID-19 cases but health officials attribute the spike to one age group.
Doug Gieryn, Winnebago County Health Director says, “We’ve seen a ramp-up in the 20 to 29 age group, that’s been far higher than the rest of the age groups.”
Officials also say the habits of this groups make them especially vulnerable.
Gieryn says, “There’s less physical distancing of persons in that age group that occurring. They’re much more likely to participate in group activities.”
The Mayor of Neenah, Dean Kaufert says this age group is out of quarantine and staffing many bars, restaurants, and city pools. So Neenah is taking special precautions.
Kaufert says, “Our 700 pool capacity is open at about 170 people, so were starting out slowly.
Doug Gieryn says 80% of the cases in this age group are from Oshkosh.
The Mayor of Oshkosh, Lori Palmeri says this spike can be attributed to large gatherings. “We’re a couple of weeks out from Memorial Day and a couple of weeks out from the ‘Safer at Home’ order, which was lifted. The bars and some restaurants have opened.”
The University of Oshkosh announced the campus will open for fall and is working with the city to ensure they have the proper safeguards.
Palmeri says, “We’re a couple of months out from the University of Oshkosh bring students back, so we have some opportunities yet to prepare. The University has a very well-thought-out crafted plan for safety.”
To curb the spread, the city of Neenah will not allow people to congregate in parks for the fourth of July and the city of Oshkosh says they’ll allow neighborhood associations to decide if they’ll have block parties for the fourth as well.