Officials with the World Dairy Expo, the largest convention and exposition in Dane County, are exploring venue options outside the Madison area for this year’s event, due to local COVID-19 restrictions.
Currently, Dane County, which has been home to the event for more than 50 years, remains the planned host for the expo. But event officials have been looking into alternative locations for the 2021 show, which is scheduled to run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2.
“Our leadership believes that it’s important for us to bring the global dairy industry together in some form and fashion in 2021,” said Scott Bentley, the expo’s general manager. “That is the desire that has prompted us to consider alternative venues.”
The expo, which brings in 62,000 people from 100 countries for a week each fall to the Alliant Energy Center, serves as a major economic boon for hotels and restaurants and typically has an estimated economic impact on the region of more than $45 million. The event also draws high-profile visits, with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue attending in 2019. Last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
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which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.
While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state.
The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.
The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.
“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”
Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.
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