Dane County reveals re-opening plan for its Safer At Home Order.

County officials plan to follow a five-step plan similar to the Badger Bounce Back plan to re-open the county. Photo: MuZemike, licensed under creative commons.

Author: Sam Buisman

Dane County unveiled the re-opening plan for its own Safer At Home order on Monday night.

Public Health Madison & Dane County published details on “Forward Dane,” a multi-phased plan to re-open the economy and relax social distancing measures in Dane County. The plan follows similar re-opening steps and criteria to the Badger Bounce Back plan created for the statewide Safer At Home order but also incorporates specificities relevant for Dane County.

“Like everyone else, we are eager to reopen businesses and work towards normalcy,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway through a press release, “but we want to be realistic and practical.”

The Forward Dane plan lays out a total of six gradual steps to re-opening the county, with the first and most restrictive step being the Safer At Home order.

Public Health Madison & Dane County issued an emergency order transitioning Dane County into the second step, titled “Prepare For Safe Reopen,” today. During this phase, while most social distancing requirements are still in effect, violations will no longer be considered a criminal offense, and all businesses may conduct minimal operations to prepare for a re-opening.

The remaining four steps, titled “Phase 1,” “Phase 2,” “Phase 3” and “Phase 4,” incrementally raise capacity limits on businesses while permitting Dane County residents to come into contact with more people.

Transitioning from one step to another requires hitting county-wide targets in metrics like cases per day, the number of tests conducted, contact-tracing capacity and more. Officials estimate that at the fastest possible pace, Dane County will have to spend two weeks in each phase. However, the plan does make clear that the county may regress to a prior phase if the disease surges.

According to the Department of Health Services, there are currently confirmed 12,687 cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, 538 of which are in Dane County.