GREEN BAY – Brown County unveiled guidelines on Tuesday for local businesses to reopen safely, while acknowledging that COVID-19 had killed another county resident.
The death of the 83-year-old Green Bay-area man is the county’s 33rd since the pandemic hit the state in March, officials said.
The man lived in the 54302 ZIP code, which includes parts of the city’s east side and part of Bellevue. County health officials wouldn’t release further details.
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County health officials also released 36 pages of guidelines designed to help local businesses understand the best ways to reopen safely. The guide is broken into sections, of several pages each, specific to individual business sectors.
The guide is designed to address key issues and questions, a number of them raised by officials of local businesses, said Ted Shove, a county Health Department official. He said the county asked businesses for input on topics the guide should address. Businesses that agree to follow the guidelines are encouraged to display a poster, provided by the county, advertising their willingness to do their part.
Posters are available in English and Spanish. Shove said the county is working on a Spanish-language version of the guidelines, but couldn’t say Tuesday when one will be available.
Officials from several of the county’s most-populous communities joined County Executive Troy Streckenbach on a call with reporters Tuesday to express support for the guidelines, with some hinting about how reopenings will look in their communities.
“It’s really critical for us to shoulder this burden together,” Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich said. “The virus will be with us for some time … it’s important that we understand how to live with it.”
Other supporters include De Pere Mayor James Boyd, Howard Administrator Paul Evert and Ashwaubenon President Mary Kardoskee.
Boyd said he expects this week to issue an order that will allow some De Pere businesses to use sidewalks as a way to make up for a loss of indoor table space lost to social-distancing guidelines. Health officials continue to recommend that businesses enforce social distancing measures to reduce the chance that patrons could spread the virus to other patrons, and to workers.
Howard plans to begin allowing certain outdoor sports activities for youth sometime in June, Evert said. But he said other activities held inside village buildings — such as bingo, line dancing and movies for seniors — likely won’t resume anytime soon.
“The biggest casualty looks like our senior activities,” he said, citing the need for participants to avoid being close together. “We just don’t have the room.”
The total number of county residents to test positive for COVID-19 stood at 2,233 as of Tuesday, up 45 cases over the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Thirty-seven members of the Oneida Nation have also tested positive, an increase of five since Friday.
Twenty-nine coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Brown County as of Tuesday. In total, 775 people in the county have been released from isolation after testing positive and recovering.
The county last week closed its free testing sites at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon and Casa ALBA Melanie in downtown Green Bay after serving 12,928 people. Public health officials are now referring people to their local health care providers to request a coronavirus test.
Contact Doug Schneider at (920) 431-8333, or DSchneid@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PGDougSchneider
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