‘It matters more than ever right now’: Public health department pushes for continued coronavirus precautions

MADISON, Wis. — As Dane County moves to Phase Two of its reopening plan, Public Health Madison and Dane County want to remind the public that basic guidelines, such as frequent hand washing and social distancing, have not gone away.

“I think that it’s easy when we get to a place like this where we may start thinking, ‘Well things are working, and we don’t need to do what we’ve been doing all along,’” said Bonnie Koenig, the business liaison for the health department. “But really we need to remember that it’s because we’ve been doing the right thing all along that we’re here.”

Koenig said along with frequent hand washing and social distancing, people should continue to wear masks in groups and stay home when you are feeling sick. She said with businesses opening up, now it is more important than ever to continue this. If metrics begin to trend the other way, the county can reverse the decision.

“It really does matter,” she said. “It matters more than ever right now because we’re moving into a phase where we’re allowing businesses to open more, to 50%, and we’re going to have more movement in our community.”

With time and as the county has worked through these phases, it might have gotten a little more difficult to keep at this. There are also these large demonstrations that continue in Madison, but so far the county hasn’t seen a spike from that or other protests.

Koenig credited that to people mostly sticking to guidelines.

“What’s happening here in our community is we’re seeing our good efforts,” she said. “And our good efforts are indicating even amidst other activities within our community, we’ve done a good job and our metrics support moving forward in Phase Two and lifting up our businesses and our community.”