RHINELANDER - "At this point in time, it's not recommended to have any mass gatherings," said Linda Conlon of the Oneida County Public Health Department during a Zoom interview Wednesday.
Conlon made this same plea over Zoom to the Oneida County Public Safety Committee Tuesday, citing CDC guidance and recent coronavirus data.
Eventually Oneida County Board member Mitchell Ives put forth a motion to allow the Hodag Country Fest, saying it came down to personal choice.
"If they don't want to go to the Country Fest, they don't have to," said Ives during Tuesday's meeting.
Conlon said the problem with that argument, is that coronavirus doesn't affect just the person taking a risk. COVID-19 can easily spread to others.
It takes two weeks to develop symptoms, and some people are entirely asymptomatic. So a Hodag Fest attendee could spread COVID-19 without even knowing they have it.
"If they become ill, and then they go home, and then they go to work the next day, and they're going to the store, and they're going to restaurants and they're with family members - then they have put all those other individuals at risk," said Conlon.