4/21/2020 7:26:00 AM Health officials announce delayed opening/temporary closure of all Oneida County campgrounds
River News Staff
Oneida County health officials issued a press release Friday morning announcing the temporarily closure of all campgrounds within the county.
"It is the duty of the local health officer to promptly take all measures necessary to prevent, suppress, and control communicable diseases as set forth in Wis. Stat. §252.03(1)," the release states. "The Oneida County Health Officer has determined that immediate temporary closure of all campgrounds in Oneida County is reasonable and necessary to prevent, suppress, and control the COVID-19 virus consistent with Sec. 252.03, Wis. Stats. Although Governor Evers' 'Safer at Home' Order (Executive Order #12) lists campgrounds as essential, there are additional factors that are unique to Oneida County."
According to the release, this determination is based on the following reasons, including but not limited to:
Oneida County has a large percentage of aged population, and data demonstrates the aged population is particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.
There are a large number of campgrounds, which draw thousands of people from inside and outside of Oneida County.
Camping in Oneida County encourages non-essential travel.
Camping allows for unmonitored congregating of groups of ten (10) or more people, which is prohibited under Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" Order (Executive Order #12).
Camping and related activities reduces the ability to properly social distance, especially in communal locations in campgrounds (e.g. campsites and bathrooms).
The influx of campers to Oneida County will further tax already limited resources (e.g., health care system, groceries and other necessities) within Oneida County.
Seasonal campground site occupants who arrived on or before April 17, 2020 may be allowed to remain in place, the release notes. Any seasonal site occupant that leaves the campground to return to his or her place of residence is not permitted to return to re-occupy the seasonal site. All seasonal site occupants that arrived on or before April 17, 2020 are encouraged to return to their residences.
This health order is effective April 17 and will remain in effect through May 16, according to the release.
"We are aware that Frequently Asked Questions, which accompany Executive Order #12, lists campgrounds as an 'Essential Business,'" the release states. "Governor Evers has since ordered the DNR to close 40 state parks, forests and recreational areas and the DNR has closed campgrounds in state parks and recreation areas through April 30th. These actions by the State are consistent with and support the need for this Health Order. This Health Order does not supersede orders for state campgrounds. If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211."
To read the latest information about COVID-19 check the Oneida County Health Department website (oneidacountypublichealth.org) or Facebook page (facebook.com/OneidaCountyHealthDepartment/), the Department of Health Services (DHS) website (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html).
Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020
Article comment by:
Every county has aged people. You could leave seasonal campers in, close bathrooms, playgrounds and laundry rooms off. You have more groups of people at Menards and food stores then you have at a campground I have never seen 10 or more people together unless it was a family gathering. People are at their summer homes and cottages, is the health department prevent them from going to theses places
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