As COVID-19 cases rise in Wisconsin, a University of Wisconsin professor and air quality expert talked about the transmission of the virus indoors Wednesday in a Badger Talks session.

Following Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mandate limiting indoor businesses to 25% of their normal capacity issues yesterday, UW air quality expert Tim Bertram spoke in a Badger Talks video about safety measures people should take while being indoors to limit the chance they get infected with the virus.

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Bertram emphasized the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing.

“One of the best things we can do as individuals is to wear our masks, right?” Bertram said. “We’ve heard this over and over again. But if all of us wear a mask in the indoor environment, and we keep our physical spacing between one another, that gives us the best chance to limit the transmission of the virus.”

Bertram also touched on risks that come with colder weather, as outdoor seating will no longer be an option.

He said it is important for indoor gatherings to stay limited as much as possible and people should try to stay within their social circles to limit contact with more people.

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“Now as we move indoors, we need to be mindful of the spaces that we enter,” Bertram said.

Bertram said it is important to be careful in indoor spaces because particles that form from breathing and talking can carry the virus but more easily.

This knowledge, in addition to Wisconsin’s COVID-19 cases increasing drastically, prompted Evers and the Department of Health Services to issue the statewide mandate requiring businesses to only open to 25% of their capacity.

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This has concerned bar and restaurant owners, who are looking ahead to winter when they will not be able to have outdoor seating to make up for financial losses over the summer, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This new order does not heavily impact bars and restaurants in Dane County, as Public Health Madison & Dane County issued an order limiting restaurants to 25% indoor capacity in early July.