Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Tribe Expresses Concerns with Brush Run Event This Labor Day Weekend

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community would like to express our deep concern with the planned annual Brush Run Off-Road Race to be held over this Labor Day weekend.
The United States, Wisconsin and Forest County are experiencing the worst Public Health Crisis of this generation due to COVID-19 caused by the novel Coronavirus.
On July 20, 2020, Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency to combat the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Executive Order #82, which shows Forest County is already experiencing high COVID-19 activity.
In Wisconsin, there has been a 75% increase in Coronavirus from July 1 to July 30, 2020. The rise in cases so quickly is startling and concerning. The uncontrolled spread of the virus will lead to unnecessary serious illness or death, overwhelm our healthcare system, prevent schools from fully reopening, and unnecessarily undermine economic stability of the county.
As of August 13, 2020, Forest County had four active Coronavirus cases with only 60 cases total testing positive. The statistics are well below the national average. Forest County has done a good job of combating the virus and stopping the community spread of the virus. Wisconsin current statistics show that the virus exists in 1,069 cases per 100,000 residents – so the potential number of positive cases with an influx of a 60,000 crowd would be around 641.
However, the National average is 1,545 per 100,000, meaning that the positive cases with a 60,000 crowd would be around 927 positive cases coming to Forest County. This number is far above the current number of four active cases existing in Forest County today. 927 cases are about 10% of the entire County population.
The infection rate in Wisconsin as of August 13, 2020, was.98%. After the Brush Run there will be 927 more active cases of the virus spread in Forest County with an unknown impact on the population after the crowds leave. If there is a high local attendance to the event, the Forest County statistic will skyrocket leaving the county, the public health system and the local hospitals to deal with the increase in cases.
These statistics are very concerning to the Sokaogon Chippewa Community. The Community views the long-term risk extraordinarily high for any economic gain experienced by the county.
The Community asks that the public join in opposing this event due to the public health risks and the unacceptable risks for our children and the residents who are most at risk such as our Elders.
We understand Brush Run organizers put out a safety plan to protect the public. However, this does not include the public health planning necessary to be ready and respond to an influx of approximately six times the county population all with the potential of carrying the virus.