Milwaukee businesses push order compliance, citations loom

As much as Milwaukee businesses try to implement safety precautions like outdoor dining, masks and hand sanitizer, the mayor said not all are following the rules -- and they may pay for it, literally.

Though decorated for Halloween, the real frightening scene for some businesses is what's happening with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are really good about wearing our masks," said Melissa Teeple. "We feel comfortable coming out and about."

Patrons, like Teeple, at Oak Barrel Public House are not scared to dine there. That's because David Gawlick, the director of operations, is trying to keep everyone safe.

"We are doing our part. If all the businesses do then we can continue to operate safely and fight these spikes that are happening around the rest of the state," Gawlick said.

Oak Barrel Public House

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said not everyone has been compliant.

"With the serious situation that we're in, it's appropriate to get more serious about the enforcement," said Barrett.

The mayor said warnings will no longer be issued for violating businesses; instead, they'll be ticketed.

"We are not worried because we do follow the rules pretty strictly," said Ryan Cooke, director of operations at Milwaukee Brat House.

Milwaukee Brat House

Cooke said health and safety is their highest priority -- and it should be for all establishments. 

"It would be easier if everyone followed the rules so we can get through this," Cooke said.

Cooke's feeling was echoed by those along Old World Third Street who want to keep their doors open.

"I think the businesses as a whole are doing a great job, there are some bad apples in the bunch and they need to help out like the rest of us so we can all operate safely," said Gawlick.

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Since Phase 4.1 of Moving Milwaukee Forward was issued back in July, 70-plus establishments have received warnings or citations.

With that, more changes are to come in the city's COVID-19 plan, set to be announced in the next few days.

Wisconsin DHS: 4,378 new COVID-19 cases, 42 deaths confirmed

More than 1.7 million people have tested negative. More than 1.9 million have been tested.