September 4, 2020
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Governor Evers and State Public Health Officials Encourages Residents to Wear a Mask and Limit Exposure Ahead of Labor Day Weekend

Over 20% of confirmed cases associated with group gatherings

Ahead of Labor Day weekend, Wisconsin Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services urges Wisconsinites to celebrate responsibly by taking precautions to reduce community spread of COVID-19.

“As we celebrate Labor Day, we need to remember that COVID-19 spreads through the air,” said Governor Tony Evers. “So try celebrating with safe activities like a family BBQ or a hike at one of Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks. When you are with someone outside of your household, remember that wearing a face covering protects both you and them.”

Current public health research supports community use of masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Wearing a mask in public spaces is an effective way to reduce the presence of respiratory droplets in the air that can help spread COVID-19. States that instituted mask mandates experienced significant declines in daily COVID-19 infection rates compared with states with no statewide mask mandates.

In Wisconsin, the 7-day average of positive cases has been steadily declining since it reached the highest average of 930 cases on July 26. Wisconsin’s statewide mask order began August 1, 2020. However, contact tracing data suggests that fewer people are staying home with 20% of total confirmed cases reporting attending a gathering, party, or meeting up with people outside their homes within two weeks prior to testing positive for COVID-19. This percentage is even higher among younger adults, and it shows an increase from June, when this number was 14%, and May, when it was 7%.

“Even if you are asymptomatic, you can still spread the virus to others, said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Face coverings, along with physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and limiting interactions with people you do not live with are the most effective tools we have to stop the spread.”

For help thinking through relevant considerations when deciding on a Labor Day activity, check out the Decision Tool for Individuals and Families. The tool will prompt you to consider important factors like the health of the people you live with, the potential exposure of the activity, and community concerns.

Up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, can be found on the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.