'It's intense:' 1st weekend of Milwaukee's mask mandate sees heat indices over 100 degrees

MILWAUKEE -- A lot of people were outdoors Saturday, July 18 despite a heat advisory and heat indices over 100 for much of the day during the first weekend with a mask mandate in place in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee’s mask ordinance took effect July 16. MKE Cares mandates masks for everyone ages 3 and older in indoor public places and outdoors when you're within 6 feet of people who are not family or members of your household. The full Milwaukee Common Council voted 15-0 Monday to approve the ordinance. The mandate is enforced not by police, but by the health department, with fines of $50 to $500 targeting businesses -- with later chances to lose licenses or be shut down.

In the thick humidity, it can be tough to breathe, and also sweaty and uncomfortable. However, FOX6 News found many in Milwaukee obeying orders to wear a mask.

"It's hot though," said Andrew Newson.

"It's a bit too intense for me," said one woman named Amy. "Hopefully, if people keep distancing, and keep taking it seriously, we will be able to reverse this."

Some adults kept cool with a brew at the Estabrook Park Beer Garden.

"With the pandemic and staying home, this gives people an opportunity to be outside and still stay far away from each other," said Liz Sumner.

Keeping the kids cool has meant improvising, with many public pools, splash pads and water parks closed.

"We bought an inflatable pool for our back yard, which are in high demand, so that's great," said Rebekah Leander.

While some still not mask ordinances seriously with Wisconsin health officials reporting 978 new positive cases of COVID-19 Saturday, those who are said they're powering through the discomfort.

"There are things that are certainly more challenging for me," said one woman named Amy. "I run in the morning. That's a lot more difficult these days."

For those without air conditioning, there are fewer places than usual to go to beat the heat -- with spots like libraries and dining areas closed.