City of Milwaukee to enter Phase 4.2 of its public health order

Under the updated order — restaurants and bars will be restricted to 25% capacity, down from 50 percent — unless the establishment's COVID Safety Plan is approved by the Milwaukee Health Department. 

"This is a very serious situation," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said as coronavirus cases continue to trend in the wrong direction.

"The trend is not flattening, we’re not rounding any corner. We’re seeing a steady and steep upward trend in cases," Dr. Ben Weston said.

"Milwaukee County continues to have some of the worst disease that we’ve had at any point during the pandemic," Darren Rausch of the Greenfield Health Department.

As leaders and health professionals show alarm, the City of Milwaukee has updated its health order designed to combat COVID-19. 

"This is not meant to be punitive. This is because we are very concerned," Mayor Barrett said.

The order limits capacity for bars and restaurants to 25%, unless it has a plan approved by the Milwaukee Health Department. 

Public indoor events may not exceed more than 10 people -- not including employees -- and seating is required. 

For outdoor events, that number is 25.

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Weddings, funerals, religious and political events are an exception -- permitted to host up to 100 guests or 25% of the space's capacity.

Dance floors are prohibited under Order 4.2, as well.

Additionally, team sports are restricted to intra-squad and intra-school events, unless otherwise approved by the Milwaukee Health Department.

"We know that any place that you’re going to have a congregation of people in confined areas, those are the breeding grounds," the mayor said.

A new plan and push to slow a concerning spread.

"Why the order was put in place… I think that we see speak for themselves. The rise in cases, the rise in hospitalizations, we’re in a different in the pandemic than we were in April," Dr. Weston said.

The updated plan requires mask-wearing and social distancing in public spaces.

Leaders have said if cases continue to rise there could be more changes in the future.

Read the full order from the Milwaukee Health Department here:

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