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May 27, 2020

Badger Talks video: A look at reopening after lockdown

Written By: Veronica Rueckert

The state of Wisconsin is beginning to reopen after months of lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In this Badger Talks video, we discuss the reopening efforts with Vicki Bier, director of the Center for Human Performance and Risk Analysis, and a professor of industrial and systems engineering at the College of Engineering.

There may be an inclination to hurry, with so many people eager for their lives to return to normal, but there are good reasons for moving slowly, Bier said. A slower approach means a better chance to monitor the effects of the reopening on disease transmission and a chance to pinpoint which sectors caused the resurgence.

Service sector businesses like hair salons, barberships, spas, and nail salons have been in the spotlight during reopening, but Bier says the economy would benefit even more from an emphasis on nonessential manufacturing and construction located in areas of the state that haven’t been hit hard by the virus. Manufacturing contributes a much bigger share of the GDP than retail.