The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends that all non-essential gatherings of 10 or more people be cancelled or postponed statewide to help protect Wisconsinites from the spread of COVID-19, particularly those who are most vulnerable to infection and severe disease. DHS supports the decisions of any event organizers that elect to cancel or postpone events with less than 10 attendees in order to protect their communities. Organizers should consider the following:
- Potential for attendance from older adults, individuals with underlying health care conditions, or other vulnerable groups
- Potential for attendance from individuals from a wide range of geographic areas across Wisconsin, the United States, or other countries
- The setting of the event, particularly if it involves sustained interaction between attendees in close physical proximity
By implementing limitations on mass gatherings DHS is intending to slow the spread of this epidemic to a level such that the healthcare system is able to maintain quality care for patients. Mass gatherings during an outbreak of a particularly infectious disease such as COVID-19 have the potential to result in large numbers of ill people that can quickly overwhelm local hospitals and clinics.