Milwaukee Health Department releases new order in response to ‘Safer at Home’ ruling

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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Health Department on Thursday, May 14 released a new order in response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling which overturned the statewide "Safer at Home" order on Wednesday.

Called "Moving Milwaukee Forward," most of the regulations for restaurants and bars stay the same, but salons can now open -- mimicking plans announced for the 18 Milwaukee County suburbs.

The city order, along with the suburban Milwaukee County order, covers all of Milwaukee County's 19 municipalities and its 11 respective health departments.

Officials at both the city and county level say it is important to follow similar orders and guidelines for businesses to reopen, as the pandemic still poses a great threat to public health.

Bryan Kennedy

"It is vital that in a county of almost one million people, we have one set of policies for everyone to follow in a situation like this," Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy said.

Countywide, most retail businesses are allowed to open with precautions in place.

Bars and restaurants without curbside or delivery options are still sidelined by the City of Milwaukee's "Moving Milwaukee Forward" order and the suburban Milwaukee County order.

Both orders allow salons and child care businesses to open with restrictions.

Darren Rausch

"Local health departments are resources to these businesses, so we certainly encourage all business owners to reach out if they need assistance or guidance in reopening," Greenfield Health Officer Darren Rausch said.

Milwaukee County health officials say any steps taken are being guided by data and not a legal ruling.

Dr. Ben Weston

Dr. Ben Weston

"We must be prudent, cautious and measured as we step, gradually, forward," Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management said. "We often talk about what we witnessed over the last two months as the peak of COVI-19, and said that we're nearing the end of 'the' peak. I think it's more appropriate to say that we're nearing the end of 'a' peak."

Data show COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County have exceeded 100 in four of the last seven days. While a new recent "peak" in cases is driven somewhat by increased testing capacity, it shows the disease continues to spread.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"For anybody to say we're through this thing, that this is hype; people are dying, and people are getting sick. and we have a responsibility to our public to do what's right," Barrett said.

Officials also said that things can change depending on the steps the community takes moving forward.

Moving Milwaukee Forward highlights

To view the Moving Milwaukee Forward order in its entirety, CLICK HERE

Retail establishments: Retail establishments, including indoor shopping malls, may remain open as long as they abide by safe business practices such as limiting the number of individuals inside and complying with physical distancing among a list of others outlined by the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Restaurants: Restaurants may remain open only if they remain in compliance with the following...

  • Restaurants may remain open for food take-out or delivery service only;
  • Alcohol sales shall comply with guidelines issued for bars (below);
  • Customers may enter the above establishments only for the purpose of ordering, pick-up, and paying for food or beverages or both;
  • No seating may be provided;
  • Food and drink may not be consumed on-premises, either indoors or outdoors;
  • Establishments shall comply with physical distancing to the extent possible and protective measure requirements among all individuals on the premises;
  • Restaurants shall cease any self-service operations of salad bars, beverage stations, and buffets
  • Customers are prohibited from self-dispensing any unpackaged food or beverage

Bars: Includes breweries, brewpubs, wineries, distilleries and alcohol beverage retailers. Such establishments may remain open only if they remain in compliance with the following...

  • Carryout sales of alcohol beverages and food are allowed if permitted by state law and municipal ordinance;
  • Delivery of alcohol beverages to retail customers is prohibited;
  • Wineries holding direct wine shippers’ permits may make deliveries of wine in accordance with their permit;
  • Breweries, wineries, and distilleries may continue manufacturing functions with physical distancing to the extent possible and protective measure requirements in place;
  • Customers may enter the above establishments only for the purpose of ordering, pick up, and paying for food or beverage or both;
  • No seating may be provided; and
  • Food and drink may not be consumed on premises, either indoors or outdoors.

Salons and Spas: Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, day spas, electrolysis providers, waxing salons, eyebrow-care establishments, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities may open with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements and the following precautions in place...

  • All workstations shall be at least six feet apart;
  • Only one client per individual providing services to clients is allowed in the business or facility at a time. No individuals should congregate in a common waiting area before or after their appointment;
  • Staff shall wear a mask or cloth face covering while in the business or facility. Clients shall wear a mask or cloth face covering to the extent feasible while in the business or facility;
  • Staff and clients should conduct self-assessment for symptoms before the appointment; symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle pain, and new loss of taste or smell;
  • Chairs and workstations shall be sanitized after each client per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • All appointments shall be scheduled by phone or online. No walk-in clients are allowed.

Child Care Settings: Child care settings will be allowed with the following restrictions...

  • Child care settings may not operate at more than 25% of the total occupancy limits established by the local municipality present at a time unless otherwise provided for by order of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or the Department of Children and Families including but not limited to DHS Emergency Order;
  • Adults shall practice physical distancing to the extent possible and protective measure requirements and follow all other Department of Health Services public health guidance while picking up and dropping off children at the child care setting;
  • Child care settings operating under this order shall follow the Department of Children and Families Guidance Order No. 2, or any order superseding that order; and
  • Child care settings shall comply with all other state statutes and administrative rules, as modified by Governor Tony Evers' Emergency Order for Department of Children and Families Administrative Rule Suspension and Emergency Orders issued March 15, 2020, or any order superseding that order;
  • Child care settings are encouraged to prioritize access to their services as follows:
    • Tier 1: employees, independent contractors and other support staff working in health care.
    • Tier 2: employees, independent contractors, and other staff in vital areas including but not limited to military; long term care; residential care; pharmacies; child care; child welfare; government operations; public safety and critical infrastructure such as sanitation, transportation, utilities, telecommunications; grocery and food services; supply chain operations; and other sectors as determined by the undersigned health officers.
    • Tier 3: all other individuals.

Recreation Activities: Recreation activities in which Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements can be achieved will be allowed with the following restrictions in place...

  • Team and contact sports and recreation activities are prohibited;
  • All reservations and payments for activities must be made online or by phone. No cash payments shall be accepted;
  • All rental equipment must be sanitized after each use.
  • All individuals shall comply with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements.

Outdoor Playground Equipment: Outdoor playground equipment may be opened and all individuals shall comply with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements.

Public beaches: Public beaches will be open for moving through while walking, running, or biking. All individuals and their pets shall comply with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements. Swimming as well as team and contact sports on public beaches remain prohibited.

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