The Center for Disease Control Monday recommended that communities place restrictions on gatherings, and events to help control the spread of the COVID-19 (Novel coronavirus).

Heeding the recommendation, the Central Racine County Health and City of Racine Public Health departments ordered a moratorium on mass gatherings of 50 people or more.

According to the press release:

“A mass gathering is defined as any event or convening that brings together or is likely to bring together fifty (50) or more people in a single room or single confined or enclosed space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, conference room, meeting hall, theater, exhibition center, museum, places of worship and religious gathering centers, and any other space where people are present and they are within arm’s length of one another for more than ten (10) minutes.”

Health officials had capped event gatherings at 250 people. Now gatherings are capped at in-person events involving 50 people or more. The recommendation includes a ban on events involving 50 people ore more throughout the United States for the next eight weeks. This includes festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.

“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” according to officials with the CDC.

The guidelines state that if events are carried out, they should be done with adherence to guidelines that protect those who are vulnerable. This includes hand hygiene and social distancing

According to the relesae:

“This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce the introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus.  This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.”

Editor’s note: This version of the story adds information from the local health departments and claifies that the CDC issued recommendations.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.