City of Racine bans all mass gatherings through July 31

NOW: City of Racine bans all mass gatherings through July 31

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Summer in Racine will look very different this year. On Tuesday, May 19, the City of Racine Public Health Department announced it is banning all mass events until July 31.

“It just takes one person to be ill to spread it through the community,” City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason said.

Mass gatherings include festivals, block parties, and events on the beach that require City approval or permits.

“We needed to make it clear to people that if what you need is to rent big public spaces, or a street closing for a parade, or anything else that requires a city permit for large gatherings we’re simply not going to permit those,” Mayor Mason said.

Large events scheduled for later in the summer will have to be approved by the Public Health Department.

Racine is one of the areas hardest hit in Wisconsin by COVID-19 with more than 700 positive cases.

The ban on mass gatherings order does not apply to smaller scale family events, but the City is advising against those too.

“Just because you can’t go to a pavilion in a park to have 100 people together for a barbeque, doesn’t mean you should just move 100 people into your backyard,” Mayor Mason said.

Tuesday night, the Mayor will be asking City Council for approval to extend their COVID-19 Emergency Declaration through July 31. If approved, this will be the order’s second extension. The declaration governs internal City operations and allows the City to apply for state and federal funding. 

This is separate from the Safer at Home order which is still in effect in the City of Racine until May 26.

“We still need to get ahead with contact tracing,” Mayor Mason said. “We still have not flattened our curve in terms of the number of cases that we’re seeing as positive.”

Later this week the City will be announcing how they plan to begin reopening their economy.

“We will get through this together,” Mayor Mason said. “We have to stay safe and stay strong.”

Read the full order on mass gatherings for the City of Racine below: 

Read the City of Racine's extended COVID-19 emergency declaration below: 

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