Marathon County to Consider Ordinance, Penalties for COVID Infractions

OnFocus – The Marathon County Executive Committee will consider a draft ordinance at their meeting on Thursday, June 11th that would help to clarify the powers given to the County Health Officer and determine penalties for individuals and businesses that violate the orders from the Health Officer.

The ordinance outlines the powers the Health Officer would have in the case of a communicable disease outbreak, including immediately investigating all the circumstances and making a full report to the County Board and Wisconsin Department of Health Services, promptly taking all measures necessary to prevent, suppress and control communicable diseases, and having the ability to forbid public gatherings when deemed necessary to control outbreaks or epidemics.

The ordinance also lays out that no person may interfere with the investigation of any place or its occupants by the Health Officer or their assistants.

The ordinance clarifies that the power of the Health Officer extends to the regulation of individuals when they have tested positive for COVID‐19, they are a probable cause, or are suspected of being infected; specific businesses and other organizations, when multiple or a cluster of cases has been identified; localities within Marathon County, when a localized outbreak has occurred; and county-wide when widespread COVID‐19 outbreak occurring whereby the health care and/or public health system is at risk of operating under crisis standards in light of the number of cases.

The ordinance also outlines penalties for people or companies who would violate these orders, including fines from $100 to $25,000 per violation, and each day of not following the orders constitutes a new violation.

You can attend the meeting in person or by phone. Information on how to attend the meeting by phone is available on the agenda that can be found here along with the full text of the ordinance.

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Steven Okonek
Author: Steven Okonek