Dane County Public Health Emergency Order #7

In response to the recent spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) released Emergency Order #7 on July 1, 2020. This new order is effective July 2 at 8:00 a.m.

Determining that “planned phases are no longer useful,” PHMDC has also revised its Forward Dane plan. Dane County is in a rebound stage under the new Forward Dane. PHMDC will continue to monitor the same nine metrics but is modifying, at least for now, how and when the county re-opens.

The primary changes in Emergency Order #7 are:

  • Employers must post PHMDC’s Workplace Requirements for Employers and Workers guidance in a prominent location where all employees may view and access. If employees are working remotely, this may require emailing the poster to employees or posting it on an internal network.
  • Outdoor mass gatherings are limited to 25 people.
  • Indoor mass gatherings on any property are limited to 10 people.
  • Group fitness classes and all sports activities are under the restrictions for mass gatherings. They are therefore limited to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors, not including employees.
  • Indoor seating capacity at restaurants has been reduced to 25%.
  • Bars are prohibited from any indoor seating but may offer takeout service and outdoor seating.
    • Restaurant and bar seating continues to be restricted to tables 6 feet apart and limited to 6 people who are in the same household.
  •  Summer school classrooms are limited to no more than 15 students who are 12 years old or younger, and no more than 25 students who are 13 years old or older.

Emergency Order #7 has not changed the requirements that employers develop compliant workplace hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies, and document their employees’ receipt, acknowledgment, or training on the policies. If you would like to schedule a meeting with us to prepare a customized policy and/or training for your organization, please contact us.

Please see Forward Dane and the accompanying legal requirements set forth in Emergency Order #7 for details applicable to your industry. Below is a summary of Emergency Order #7.

Mass Gatherings

  • The following limited mass gatherings are permitted as long as people maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet
    • Inside with up to 10 people, not including employees
    • Outside with up to 25 people, not including employees
  • Mass gatherings include concerts, festivals, fairs, parades, movies, performances, shows, trainings, meetings, conferences, sporting events, group fitness classes, and sports activities for children and adults
    • Note that group fitness classes and all sports activities have been added to the definition of mass gatherings
    • Religious services are not mass gatherings
    • Drive-in movie theaters or other drive-in activities are not mass gatherings

Child Care, Youth, Education, Libraries, Public Spaces, and Sports

  • Childcare facilities must restrict groups and classrooms to no more than 15 children if the children are 12 years or younger, or no more than 25 children if the children are at least 13 years old
    • There should be no interaction between the groups or classrooms, and staff interaction between groups must be limited to the greatest extent feasible
  • Public playgrounds and splash pads are open, but physical distancing must be maintained
  • Public courts and fields are open, but physical distancing must be maintained
    • Games for low-risk sports – as defined in the order – are allowed if physical distancing is maintained
    • Games between teams for medium and high-risk sports – as defined in the order – are not allowed, but games within a team for medium and high-risk sports are allowed if physical distancing is maintained
    • All sports activities are subject to the mass gathering restrictions (25 people outdoors, and 10 people indoors)
  • K-12 schools may open for in person instruction and extracurricular activities if schools create, distribute, and implement the required hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies with their staff; and develop and implement a written action plan for a COVID-19 outbreak with certain items outlined in the order.
  • Continuing education and higher education institutions must maintain physical distancing to the greatest extent possible; may determine policies for safe operation; and must adopt strict policies to ensure safe living conditions before opening dorms and other congregate living situations

All Businesses, Libraries, Community Centers, and Religious Entities

  • Capacity must be limited to 50% of approved capacity level
    • See this guide to determining capacity level
    • This does not apply to restaurants and bars – see below
  • Organizations must implement required hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies, and document that employees receive and acknowledge, or are trained on, these policies
  • Employers must post PHMDC’s Workplace Requirements for Employers and Workers guidance in a prominent location where all employees may view and access it
  • Organizations must limit staff and customers on site, and continue to facilitate remote work to the greatest extent possible, including offering virtual services, meetings, and and/or alternating work teams or staggering shifts
  • When remote work is not possible, all organizations must:
    • Where possible, offer curbside pick-up and drop-off, and delivery
    • Where possible, provide a way for customers to pay, and make appointments and reservations online or over the phone
    • Provide door-to-door solicitation with physical distancing
    • Ensure physical distancing in waiting areas with appropriate spacing of chairs

Additional Industry Specific Requirements

  • Restaurants, bars, and stores that sell food, groceries, and alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages must
    • Encourage pick-up and delivery options
    • Prohibit self-dispensing of bulk items and condiments
      • Beverage stations may remain open
    • Prohibit sampling of food and self-service of unpackaged food, e.g. salad bar, buffet
      • This prohibition does not apply to produce in stores
    • Limit indoor dine-in capacity at restaurants to 25% of approved seating levels; space tables and chairs to ensure 6 feet of physical distancing; and limit each table to 6 customers, all of whom must live together
      • Bars are not allowed to have any indoor seating
        • Customers may enter a bar only to order, pick-up and pay for food and beverages, or while in transit (e.g. to use the bathroom)
        • “Bar” is defined as “an establishment in which fermented malt beverages are sold for consumption upon said premises and whose sale of alcohol beverages accounts for at least 51% of the establishment’s gross receipts and whose primary business is that of a bar”
      • Limit outdoor seating if tables and chairs are spaced 6 feet apart and each table is limited to 6 customers, all of whom must live together
        • This applies to restaurants and bars
      • Space bar stools in restaurants at least 6 feet part for customers who do not live together
      • Customers must be seated at all times when not in transit (e.g. to go to the bathroom)
  • Retail stores must
    • Limit the number of customers inside the business to no more than 50% of capacity, not including employees
    • Offer at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable individuals if your store is larger than 50,000 square feet
    • Prohibit sampling, including of food and any goods
  • Salons and spas must
    • Limit the number of customers to 50% of approved capacity (if capacity is four or less, one customer is permitted)
    • Space customer chairs, tables, and stations at least 6 feet apart
    • Require employees to always wear face coverings when customers are present
    • Require customers to wear face coverings to the greatest extent possible
  • Gyms and fitness centers must
    • Provide disinfecting materials for members to use on equipment before and after use, and increase frequency of cleaning of equipment, common areas, locker rooms, and restrooms
    • Limit the number of individuals on site (excluding employees) to 50% of approved capacity
    • Space equipment at least 6 feet apart to the extent possible
    • Use floor markings to indicate appropriate physical spacing, particularly in areas where people congregate or cluster
    • Offer group exercise classes only if physical distancing is maintained and there is no person-to-person contact
      • Note that group exercise classes are now considered a mass gathering and are subject to those restrictions (10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors, excluding employees)
    • Prohibit all activities where physical distancing cannot be maintained between people who do not live together
    • Close saunas and steam rooms
  • Places of amusement and activity must
    • Require payments and reservations only online or over the phone to the extent possible
    • Schedule events or the start of an activity to ensure physical distancing between all individuals who do not live together
    • Space seating, stations, or other areas to ensure at least at least at least 6 feet of physical distancing between individuals who do not live together
    • Limit the number of individuals on site (excluding employees) to 50% of approved capacity
      • Events such as concerts, festivals, shows, etc. are also subject to the restrictions on mass gatherings
    • Disinfect all equipment between each customer’s use
  • Lodging facilities must
    • Prohibit guests from congregating in lobbies or common areas
    • Adopt cleaning protocols for guest rooms and common areas based on PHMDC guidelines
    • Provide personal protective equipment and training to housekeeping staff for proper handling of linens and cleaning/disinfecting supplies
    • Comply with all other guidelines, such as those that apply to restaurants and bars, if applicable
  • Drive-In movie theaters and other drive-in activities must
    • Prohibit outdoor seating
    • Prohibit customers from leaving their car except to purchase or pick up food or drinks, or to use the restroom
    • Encourage pick-up and delivery of food and drinks, and prohibit any self-service of unpackaged food and self-dispensing of condiments
    • Reservations and payments should be made in advance online or over the phone to the greatest extent possible

Other industries

  • Health care, public health, human services, infrastructure, manufacturing, and government operations are subject to specific provisions and restrictions under Emergency Order #7, namely these organizations must implement required cleaning and hygiene policies, and comply with other applicable PHMDC, state, and federal requirements

Leased Property

  • Landlords and rental property managers may enter and show leased residential properties if all individuals wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing

Violations of this order are considered ordinance violations and are enforceable by any local law enforcement official.

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important updates such as these from Dane County and other counties across the state. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Recent Posts

CDC Updates Guidance

CDC Updates Guidance

Throughout the COVID pandemic, Lake Effect has encouraged employers to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance regarding COVID isolation and return to work

Read More »
employee handbook

Review Your Handbooks Now

In the fall of 2023, we encouraged organizations to review their handbooks based on recent NLRB decisions focused on employees’ rights to engage in protected

Read More »