Suburban Milwaukee health officials announce 'all remaining businesses' can reopen Friday

MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- Officials with the suburban Milwaukee health departments on Tuesday, May 19 announced "all remaining businesses in the 18 suburban municipalities" may reopen Friday, May 22 if they choose to -- moving to the next phase of their reopening plans, with Order #1, issued on Thursday, May 14, set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The 18 municipalities in suburban Milwaukee County and their 10 public health officials came together Wednesday, May 13 to sign the order allowing for the reopening of indoor shopping malls, as long as they are at 25% capacity and social distancing guidelines are followed — along with the reopening of salons, spas, tattoo parlors and tanning salons. This, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, ruling that Governor Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its authority when the order was extended for another month without consulting legislators.

Both the suburban Milwaukee County order and a separate City of Milwaukee order prohibited the opening of restaurants and bars. The City of Milwaukee order remains in effect as of Tuesday.

On Tuesday, suburban Milwaukee health officials announced businesses can reopen Friday utilizing the “Suburban Milwaukee County Safe Opening Capacity Guidance” chart that will be available on local health department websites.

In a news release, health officials also instructed business owners to adhere to CDC and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s safe business practices and physical distancing and protective measures for staff and patrons.

Important note: The City of Cudahy withdrew Order #1 on Friday, May 15 and has already moved to the next phase of reopening.

In preparation for this next phase of the reopening beginning on Friday, health officials said in the release they are communicating with businesses throughout their communities to share best practices and guidance about how they can reopen and operate safely -- noting that many businesses will likely change the way they operate to provide physical distancing between patrons, increased attention to sanitation and more changes designed to minimize the transmission of COVID‐19.

The release said public health leaders have carefully tracked key indicators to guide the safe reopening across the city, county and state.

Business owners should contact their local health department with any questions regarding this next phase of reopening and recommendations on safe operating practices.

Resources for reopening

    Local health department contacts

      Katie Lepak, MS


        Courtney Day


          Susan Shepeard


            Darren Rausch



              Kathy Radloff, RN



                Ann Christianson, MPH



                  Darcy DuBois, MPH



                    Laura Conklin, MPH



                      Jackie Ove, MS, BSN, RN



                        Robert Leischow, MPH