Menasha council votes to end public health emergency

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - A unanimous vote by the Menasha city council on Monday night has ended the public health emergency tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It comes avid concerns over the Delta variant, and the number of local cases rising in the past two weeks.

Mayor Don Merkes said, “These emergency declarations typically last 30-60 days. We’ve been well over a year now. We do feel it’s time we move forward in saying we have done things to stop that spread.”

Merkes says even without the order, the city will continue to stress the need for vaccinations and host clinics.

Right now, Menasha Public Health Director Kristine Jacobsen believes at least 50% of residents have received at least the first dose.

“We feel at this time that’s an appropriate measure and we also got confirmation from the state that our public health emergency declaration is not necessary in order to receive funding related to the COVID 19 pandemic,” she added.

Back in January, the city was averaging about a hundred cases every two weeks, which has dropped to about three-to-four cases every two weeks in June.

However, the most recent numbers from July have seen a slight uptick, which is why Winnebago County is keeping its public emergency order, to avoid a potential mixed message.

“Knowing that cases are on the rise and things are going to get worse again, before they get better and that we’re just not out of this pandemic yet and that’s why we’d like to keep that emergency order in place yet,” said Winnebago County Public Health Officer Doug Gieryn.

If the pandemic does worsen, city officials say they can still vote to put the emergency order back in place.

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