It's Fourth of July weekend in Wisconsin. It's normally a time for outdoors, fireworks, fun, and crowds. But not so much this year. Lots of activities are being scaled back, but many of you are going to want to go out and have a normal 4th. I get it. 

But it is far from a normal year. The COVID-19 pandemic is not as bad as it is in many states, but cases are slipping upward, more so in some counties than in others. Eau Claire County has had a concerning uptick in cases since most of the state has been decreasing restrictions, and we are mostly working on good faith on the part of citizens. 

The Wisconsin DHS is asking people to keep their activities under control.

The Department of Health Services urges Wisconsin residents to stay home and follow best public health practices during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. Wisconsin has seen a recent surge in cases with half of all positive cases coming within the past five weeks. Nearly 20 % of total COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin have tested positive within the past two weeks. This spike in cases is driven in part by an increase in infections among younger people, and contact tracing by some local health departments has revealed that many of these cases can be traced to bars.

“This message is especially important for younger people to hear,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We know this is a time people like to celebrate with friends, but COVID-19 is still spreading in our state, and we need everyone to take the necessary precautions.”

In the Chippewa Valley, the official activities have been curtailed in many ways. Freedom Fest in Menomonie is primarily a fireworks display. The Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce has provided the maps and information below for watching the fireworks. Eau Claire is also having fireworks which have been moved from their normal spot to a more central part of town (which has been somewhat controversial). 

Have fun this weekend (despite the heat) and be careful both of the pandemic and the weather. And be kind to each other. We'll get through this together.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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