RACINE — Although no people or businesses have been fined under the Safer Racine ordinance — which requires mask-wearing in buildings and that businesses enforce social distancing — since Oct. 30, inspections to make sure the rules are being followed may resume, city spokesman Shannon Powell said Wednesday afternoon.
After inspections led by Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox at nine area business on Friday, Oct. 30, four were cited for violations.
Powell said Wednesday that the Health Department has not done any inspections since then, but that Bowersox has indicated she wants to do inspections again in coming weeks.
Since the late-October inspections, Safer Racine restrictions have been made more stringent, including reducing the maximum capacity at bars and restaurants down to 25% of normal indoor capacity.
Bowersox, with the support of the Racine City Council, said the reason for the tightening of restrictions is the sharp rise in local case rates that began in mid-October, coupled with the anticipation of extended-family gatherings over the holiday season, despite health officials nationwide advising against such gatherings.
Spikes in COVID-19 cases have been reported locally in recent weeks. It took from the beginning of the pandemic until Oct. 11 for Racine County to confirm its 100th coronavirus-related death. On Tuesday, less than two months later, Racine County’s 198th, 199th, 200th and 201st COVID deaths were reported.