MILWAUKEE- Citing guidance by the CDC that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, the City of Milwaukee is eliminating its emergency health order on June 1st.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement this afternoon.
“I have pledged, we have pledged, to follow the science and the evidence so when the CDC announced that vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks, I felt, and the health commissioner felt, we should do what we’ve done and follow the CDC guidance,” Barrett said during a virtual press conference this afternoon.
The city’s health order was set to expire on June 15th. The Mayor said the decision to move it up to June 1st, and not, say, May 18th, was to give businesses and organizations time to figure out what the expiration of the emergency order means for them, and to put their own precautions in place if they choose.
“These businesses, these establishments, they know their client base, their user base, better than anyone and we want to give these establishments 13 days to decide what’s right for them,” Barrett said. In recent days major retailers like Kohls, Costco, Walmart and Target said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in their stores while shopping.
Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management Medical Director Dr. Ben Weston says Milwaukee County has averaged 77 new COVID-19 cases per day over the last seven days. According to the Department of Health Services more than 45% of eligible Wisconsinites have completed at least part of their COVID-19 vaccination cycle.
In recent days several communities around Milwaukee decided to end their health orders or, like Shorewood, simply let them expire. Dane County said its health order will expire on June 2nd.