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Wisconsinites are being urged 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 Gov. 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 seven-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. 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.

That 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 Department of Health Services (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.”

The Decision Tool for Individuals and Families can help people think through relevant considerations when deciding on a Labor Day activities. The tool will prompt people to consider important factors like the health of the people they 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: @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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