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New Health Order Lifts Some Restrictions In Milwaukee

Lauren Sigfusson
A sign in downtown Milwaukee encourages people to social distance.

Beginning Friday, people with family members in long-term care facilities in Milwaukee will be able to visit them. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement Thursday in a city/county COVID-19 update.

“So all of those heartbreaking stories that you see about grandma or grandpa not being able to talk to their grandkids in person, I’m hoping we’ll never see another one of those stories in our lives,” Barrett said.

The change comes as restrictions are also being lessened on restaurants and bars. Under the new Milwaukee Health Department order, restaurants and bars that do not have an approved safety plan in place will now be allowed less than 50% total occupancy, compared to the previous 25%.

Child care centers can operate at full capacity and people who work at salons and spas will be allowed to have up to three clients per person in the building at the same time.

Kirsten Johnson, the new Milwaukee health commissioner, said the health department has also added both the disease burden and the adult vaccination rate to the list of criteria to determine how Milwaukee is doing in containing the virus.

Johnson said the goal is to better align with the Centers For Disease Control. “Our intention with the new orders is for Milwaukee businesses and organizations to have a better understanding of where we are headed or if cases reverse or begin to increase again where we would go back to,” she said.

It was exactly one year ago that the city of Milwaukee logged its first death from COVID-19.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.
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