MILWAUKEE- Bitter cold temperatures may entice you to wear a face covering when outside while a new city ordinance makes you wear one inside.
Starting at 12am on Saturday the city’s new mask mandate officially went into effect. The mandate requires anybody over the age of 3 to wear a mask while indoors regardless of their vaccination status. You can read more on the specifics of the mandate here.
“I signed Milwaukee’s mask ordinance this morning which will take effect once it is published in the coming days. Public safety is my paramount concern, and, during the current surge in COVID-19 cases, masking is one reasonable mitigation step,” Johnson said in a statement upon signing the ordinance Thursday.
The Milwaukee Health Department, despite voicing support for the mandate, says it does not plan on day-to-day enforcement efforts, instead businesses will have to bear the brunt of that responsibility. Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson last week said the department simply isn’t set up to monitor masks in every business, but it has rubbed some business leaders the wrong way.
“It requires employees to act as the ‘mask police.’” Milwaukee Metro Area Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sheehy said. “This mandate applies a geographic patchwork approach to regulation with no real effect on stopping the spread of COVID.”
The mandate will remain in effect until March 1st, at the latest, though if the city’s COVID transmission levels hit certain benchmarks, the Common Council could vote to end it sooner.