Dane County and Madison Public Health Issues Emergency Order #16, Continues to Ease Restrictions

May 3, 2021

Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) issued Emergency Order #16, which goes into effect as of 12:01am on May 5, 2021. In response to Dane County’s steady trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as increasing vaccination rates, the Order eases several restrictions.

First, the Order increases limits for both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Up to 350 individuals may be present at indoor gatherings where food and beverages are provided, not including employees. Where food and beverages are not provided, up to 500 people may be in attendance, not including employees.  Outdoor gatherings continue to be limited only to ensure individuals who are not members of the same household are able to maintain six (6) feet of physical distance at all times. Whether indoor or outdoor, individuals who are not members of the same household must maintain six (6) feet of physical distance, except when in transit, such as walking in a hallway.

Second, the Order increases indoor dine-in capacity for restaurants and taverns to 75%, with physical distancing in place. This is an increase from the previous order, which permitted 50% dine-in capacity for restaurants and 25% dine-in capacity for taverns. Restaurants and taverns must space tables and chairs to ensure at least six (6) feet of physical distancing between customers who are not members of the same household.

Third, the Order permits up to 75% indoor capacity for business establishments. In the previous order, businesses were limited to only 50% capacity.  The order continues to require face coverings for individuals five (5) years of age and older when in an enclosed building or vehicle where individuals from different households are present, and when in line to enter an enclosed building.

Like the previous order, Order #16 strongly recommends, but does not require, face coverings in all other settings where it is not possible to maintain six (6) feet of physical distance.

Order #16 is in effect until June 2, 2021.