Milwaukee Health Department issues $30K in COVID fines in 6 months

From a Domino’s on Milwaukee's east side to an architect’s office in Walker’s Point, the Milwaukee Health Department has collectively issued nearly $30,000 in fines to businesses that were found to violate COVID-19 policies since July 2020.

"What we have seen, on occasion, is a few businesses will slip and not be following the protocols," said Steve Baas, senior VP of government affairs at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

The MMAC has been working closely with the health department.

"So they can increase consumer confidence and worker confidence that they can operate safely," said Baas.

Baas said health officials have conducted 1,600 COVID inspections on top of their routine health inspections and only issued 38 fines.

"If they’re not following the protocols, they’re really doing it to themselves," said Baas.

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The city lists places like Fiesta Café with three violations, totaling $1,500 in fines for the owner, but nightclub VIP racked up the bulk of fines, cited in September, on New Year’s Eve and again in January for capacity and mask issues, totaling $11,000.

"The businesses themselves have been leading by example and have been supportive of the health department cracking down on bad actors who might give a bad name and taint the entire reputation of the entire sector," said Baas.

One business owner told FOX6 News off-camera their business was never fined, despite the city listing it as a violator.

FOX6 News made multiple attempts to contact the owner of VIP but were unsuccessful.  

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