After sparking confusion about what, exactly, is not allowed under a new order issued Tuesday, Public Health Madison and Dane County clarified Wednesday that no “mass” indoor gatherings effectively means residents are barred from getting together indoors with anybody they don’t live with — no matter the size of the group.
The order that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday continues all of the previous restrictions announced in September, including a mask mandate and limiting business capacity to 50%.
But it also moves from allowing indoor gatherings of up to 10 people to prohibiting any “mass gathering inside,” and defines a “mass gathering” as “a planned event with a large number of individuals in attendance, such as a concert, festival, meeting, training, conference, performance, show or sporting event.”
Some residents were confused about whether that meant any indoor gathering is verboten, or just any “mass” indoor gathering — and if the former, why does the order describe the gatherings as “mass” when even one friend coming over for coffee would be against the rules?
Public Health provided a hint Tuesday when it wrote in its blog that the new order “prohibits indoor gatherings of any size.”
On Wednesday, Public Health spokeswoman Sarah Mattes acknowledged that the new order prohibits gatherings of any size indoors except with people you live with.