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Thousands expected at Wisconsin Dells over weekend

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WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – Roughly 100,000 people are expected to visit resorts, restaurants, and parks at the Wisconsin Dells during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, despite Coronavirus concerns.

Noah’s Ark water park drew large crowds Saturday, despite limiting the park to about one-third of its total capacity.

“We knew this year would be a little different, we spent the last several months preparing for it,” said Noah’s Ark General Manager Mark Whitfield.

Whitfield says the park has mandated temperature checks and masks for employees. While guests are asked to wear masks inside the park, they are not required to wear them once inside.

“We ask people to socially distance, keep space between themselves and other people,” Whitfield said.

The park is missing a major labor source, however, as the international students who normally make a majority of the staff are not able to travel to America this year.

Whitfield says international exchange students make up 35 percent of all staff at the Dells. This year, Noah’s Ark has hired locally, but also brought in employees from California, Texas and Florida.

Whitfield would not answer whether or not he would close the temporarily should a someone who attended test positive for COVID-19. Rather, he pointed to preventative sanitation work crews are already doing.

Whitfield says some rides, where by practice, social distancing is not possible, are closed. However he says he hopes to have “most everything open in the next ten days.”

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