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BARRON COUNTY– Barron County is now recommending that gatherings be limited to 25 people or fewer indoors and 50 people or fewer outdoors. That is a decrease from the previous recommendation of 50 indoors, 100 outdoors. T

The numbers are recommended as long as physical distancing can be followed. The updated recommendations are effective immediately, as of July 14, and come after reviewing local, regional, state and nationwide data.

“From July 10-14, we saw our largest spike in cases yet," said Barron County Health Officer, Laura Sauve. “Eleven new positives have come in over the past four days. With the rapid increase in cases in Barron County, our neighboring counties, the state and the nation, Barron County felt it necessary to take this step for the health of our communities.”

Public health would like to remind residents that it is still strongly discouraged to gather with anyone who lives outside of one's home, and unnecessary gatherings of any kind are not advised.

“The virus is still present in our community,” said Health Officer Sauve. “Community members need to continue to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear masks when out in public. It’s important to remember that any gathering of any size comes with a risk.”

People who are vulnerable and at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 should continue to stay home whenever possible, the health department said. People considered to be at higher risk include individuals over the age of 65, anyone who lives in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems.

If necessary to host a gathering, consider the following recommendations, the health department said:

> Keep 6 feet between anyone that does not live in the same household. If the space cannot accommodate that safely, reduce the number of people gathering.

> Screen visitors and prevent those with COVID- 19 symptoms from attending.

> Ask individuals to bring their own food, beverages, and utensils. Sharing of the items can promote the spread of COVID-19.

> Clean high-touch areas such as doorknobs and countertops often.

> Provide hand washing or sanitizing.

Barron County Public Health will continue to monitor conditions and provide resources and recommendations to the community, the department said.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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