Health experts say it’s unlikely large events will happen by summer

NOW: Health experts say it’s unlikely large events will happen by summer

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) - A number of big events have been postponed until summer and early fall in the Milwaukee area. 

With a plan in place now to re-open the state in three phases, will these large gathering happen by then? Some health experts say, we most likely won’t be going back to normal this summer. They say it’s important to not move forward too quickly with large gatherings.

“Professionally speaking, I think summer’s out at this point as far as kind of going back to normal,” said Jeanette Kowalik, Milwaukee’s Health Commissioner.

Sports games, festivals, conventions and graduation ceremonies would all fall under the third and last phase of the ‘Badger Bounce Back Plan,’ where more than 50 are able to get together.

“I think probably we’re going to have to have a vaccine before we have large gatherings, but you know we still don’t know how many people have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“There’s no vaccine or there’s no antiretroviral, and until we have those two tools that is really going to be our way of getting the herd immunity up and getting us to some sense of a normal way of life, but we’re not going to have that for a while,” adds Kowalik.

Herd-immunity is when an adequate amount of people is immune to an infectious disease, which then limits the spread, but experts say the vaccine is key.

“I think right now the prospects of going to a football game, or seeing a brewers game are going to be limited until we have that vaccine,” said Dr. Raymond. 

Dr. John Raymond says Wisconsin’s efforts are working, but numbers are leveling.

“We’re still having somewhere between 150-200 new cases in Wisconsin per day so we may either be at a plateau or slightly improving but we really need to be convinced that we’re having a significant improvement,” he adds. 

“We need to be strategic about how we move back into powering things back up so we don’t regress,” Kowalik said.

In order to improve, Kowalik says people should continue social distancing, wearing face coverings and staying home. 

“Think about other people, think about the greater good for once,” she says.  “We can get through this, but compliance is necessary for us to be able to move through this.”

The first day of fall lands on September 22nd, Kowalik says as of now it’s too early to tell if large gatherings will be ready to happen by then.

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