Door County asks tourists, seasonal residents to stay away

Newport State Park

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Updated with a county travel advisory order issued March 23, 2020

Door County, a popular tourist destination, is taking the unusual step of asking tourists and seasonal residents to stay away during this health crisis.

Door County officials says reducing the number of people traveling to the area for the next 30 days could help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

A travel order from the county public health officer on March 23 asks seasonal residents and people with a second home in Door County to stay in the area of their permanent home.

Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Door County, emergency management is concerned that a higher population puts others at risk and could stretch medical personnel thin and put higher demands on local hospitals and health workers.

Pursuant to WI. Stat. 252.03(1), the Door County Public Health Officer has issued a Travel Advisory Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national spread of the COVID-19 virus:
      Due to high community transmission in certain area of the state and across the nation, Door County Public Health is recommending that you stay in your permanent home area if you have a seasonal or second home in Door County. Door County has well trained and capable medical
      personnel, but staffing is limited and stretched thin during this emergency. We make this statement in hopes of limiting the demands placed on local hospitals, emergency personnel, nurses and doctors
      People who have seasonal homes in Door County, please stay at your winter homes at this time. If you are already back in Door County you are encouraged to self-quarantine for fourteen (14)
      Door County has a large population of older adults and others who are identified to have a higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19. It is our top priority to keep people in Door County
      healthy and safe.
      On March 17, 2020, the Door County Board of Supervisors issued a countywide COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. Please be aware that additional health and travel restrictions may be
      imposed during this time.
      This is an ever-changing and very serious health situation and Door County needs to be diligent in
      its response.

Emergency management is asking Door County resorts to cancel existing reservations and not accept new reservations.

"The sooner we address this issue in Door County, the sooner we can get back to welcoming guests to our peninsula again," the news release from Emergency Management Director Daniel Kane reads.

The statement says elected officials, the county health department, public safety agencies, the county fire chiefs association, county emergency support coalition, Door County Community Foundation and the Aging and Disability Resource Center all supported the recommendation.

Orders from the state government already restricted gatherings to fewer than 10 people and closed restaurant dining rooms and bars across the state.