Madison police take hard stance against Mifflin Street Block Party

Madison police promised to enforce Gov. Tony Evers' Safer at Home order at the annual Mifflin Street Block Party scheduled for this Saturday.

Officers have told area residents and landlords that "festivities will not be tolerated," according to a press release published Wednesday. Authorities said any nonresidents who gather will get citations for at least $367.

"While MPD has historically taken a fairly tolerant view of the Mifflin Street Block Party, this year is different," said Chief Vic Wahl. "Any parties or gatherings occurring are in violation of the Governor's ‘Safer at Home’ order."

Public health officials have repeatedly advised against large social gatherings, saying it could increase the spread of COVID-19.

"Holding a gathering like the Mifflin Street Block Party during this crisis would go against the current orders and every public health recommendation we have," said Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health Madison and Dane County.

She went on to call any decision to participate in the block party "extremely irresponsible." Doing so, Heinrich argued, "would certainly result in more COVID-19 cases in Madison, Dane County, and likely beyond as we know Mifflin has always been a destination."

Madison police also said they would share the information of any UW-Madison students cited for participating in the party with the Dean of Students "for possible school discipline."

"Please do what's best for public health and stay home," Wahl said.

"The precautions that they're taking to stop, limit the bock party are unfortunate, but it's necessary," Mifflin Street resident Chris Gilbertson says. "Also, the fines are initimidating," says Gilbertson's housemate, Cannon Lock.

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