People wearing masks in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE -- A mask ordinance for all outdoor and indoor public spaces in Milwaukee will go into effect at 12 a.m. on Thursday, July 16.
For those in Milwaukee who have not been wearing masks in public places, there are locations set-up to get free masks for yourself and family members.
"You may be asymptomatic and you might be carrying the disease and you just alluded to the numbers. The numbers are going in the wrong direction," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
The mandate also applies to city employees. The Milwaukee Fire Department said that for them, nothing will change because they were already enforcing a strict mask policy both outside and inside firehouses. Barrett praised the practice.
Milwaukee Fire Department personnel wearing masks
"I know that the fire department has been very, very, very forthright in that they have them," said Barrett.
As for Milwaukee police, Barrett said he plans to have further discussions with the department about mask use. FOX6 News captured moments at recent crime scenes were police personnel were seen not using masks.
Milwaukee Police Department personnel not wearing masks at crime scene
FOX6 asked Milwaukee police about current mask policies and how they may change when the ordinance officially goes into effect at midnight. MPD said in a statement:
All MPD sworn members are required to wear a mask when outside of their department vehicle and when interacting with members of the public.
"The expectation is for all city workers to wear masks as well," Barrett said. "Obviously, we will talk to the police department. I was not aware of that, but it's my understanding that it's being applied in the police."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
The mask mandate is an effort to keep Milwaukee's numbers from spiking.
"In California, in Arizona, in Texas, in Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina, we're essentially four or five weeks out from that. I don't want that to happen here," said Barrett.
Free masks are available at several locations across the city. FOX6 is told there are more masks on the way.
Masks can be picked up at these Milwaukee Health Department locations: