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WI officials drop fines for dance studio that hosted 'Nutcracker' performance during COVID

Health officials in Wisconsin have dropped a fine against a dance studio that staged a performance of “The Nutcracker” in December 2020 despite COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings.

Public Health Madison and Dane County canceled the penalty pending against A Leap Above Dance on June 22, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday. The studio is located in Oregon, a Madison suburb.

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The health department has alleged that 119 people attended the performance even though the department had banned mass gatherings to slow COVID-19’s spread.

It’s unclear how much the fine totaled. With each of the 119 counts in the department’s complaint punishable by $200, it could have come to $23,800. But Morgan Finke, a spokesperson for the health department, told the State Journal on Wednesday that the maximum would have been $3,200.

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Studio owner Natalie Nemeckay said fewer than 100 people were involved in the performance and they were divided into groups of 10 at the most. Photos show performers also wore masks.

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