Milwaukee Health Department releases new order in response to 'Safer at Home' ruling

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Health Department on Thursday, May 14 released a new order in response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling which overturned the statewide "Safer at Home" order on Wednesday.

Called "Moving Milwaukee Forward," most of the regulations for restaurants and bars stay the same, but salons can now open -- mimicking plans announced for the 18 Milwaukee County suburbs.

The city order, along with the suburban Milwaukee County order, covers all of Milwaukee County's 19 municipalities and its 11 respective health departments.

Officials at both the city and county level say it is important to follow similar orders and guidelines for businesses to reopen, as the pandemic still poses a great threat to public health.

Bryan Kennedy

"It is vital that in a county of almost one million people, we have one set of policies for everyone to follow in a situation like this," Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy said.

Countywide, most retail businesses are allowed to open with precautions in place.

Bars and restaurants without curbside or delivery options are still sidelined by the City of Milwaukee's "Moving Milwaukee Forward" order and the suburban Milwaukee County order.

Both orders allow salons and child care businesses to open with restrictions.

Darren Rausch

"Local health departments are resources to these businesses, so we certainly encourage all business owners to reach out if they need assistance or guidance in reopening," Greenfield Health Officer Darren Rausch said.

Milwaukee County health officials say any steps taken are being guided by data and not a legal ruling.

Dr. Ben Weston

"We must be prudent, cautious and measured as we step, gradually, forward," Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management said. "We often talk about what we witnessed over the last two months as the peak of COVI-19, and said that we're nearing the end of 'the' peak. I think it's more appropriate to say that we're nearing the end of 'a' peak."

Data show COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County have exceeded 100 in four of the last seven days. While a new recent "peak" in cases is driven somewhat by increased testing capacity, it shows the disease continues to spread.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"For anybody to say we're through this thing, that this is hype; people are dying, and people are getting sick. and we have a responsibility to our public to do what's right," Barrett said.

Officials also said that things can change depending on the steps the community takes moving forward.

Moving Milwaukee Forward highlights

To view the Moving Milwaukee Forward order in its entirety, CLICK HERE

    Bars: Includes breweries, brewpubs, wineries, distilleries and alcohol beverage retailers. Such establishments may remain open only if they remain in compliance with the following...

      Salons and Spas: Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, day spas, electrolysis providers, waxing salons, eyebrow-care establishments, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities may open with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements and the following precautions in place...

        Child Care Settings: Child care settings will be allowed with the following restrictions...

          Recreation Activities: Recreation activities in which Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements can be achieved will be allowed with the following restrictions in place...

            Outdoor Playground Equipment: Outdoor playground equipment may be opened and all individuals shall comply with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements.

            Public beaches: Public beaches will be open for moving through while walking, running, or biking. All individuals and their pets shall comply with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements. Swimming as well as team and contact sports on public beaches remain prohibited.