MILWAUKEE- The Milwaukee Health Department wants everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors in public spaces as concerns over the COVID-19 Omicron variant grow.
The new mask guidance was issued Tuesday by Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson.
“COVID-19 is predominantly transmitted by inhaling respiratory droplets and studies show that masks effectively block the release of these droplets,” Johnson said. “It is crucial for us to layer measures to protect ourselves and our community.”
To date, no cases of the Omicron variant have been discovered in Milwaukee or Wisconsin.
Johnson and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said there are no plans, right now, to reinstitute a mask mandate, but that happening is not out of the realm of possibility.
“We know that there is serious concern with the Omicron variant so we are continuing to monitor that,” Barrett said. “It’s always something in our conversations.”
The Wisconsin Department of Health Monday reporting more than 14-hundred patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. That’s the highest number since December of 2020 and up more than 500 cases from the month prior.