'We’re sanitizing:' Businesses in Milwaukee Co. allowed to reopen to customers

MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- Businesses in Milwaukee County were allowed to reopen their doors at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22 -- except those located in the City of Milwaukee.

When the clock struck midnight, Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub in Wauwatosa opened its doors. A crowd showed up for the reopening.

The expiration of this order means everything in Milwaukee County suburbs can reopen, including gyms and movie theaters. Health officials are instructing business owners to follow CDC guidelines and safe business practices -- 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.

"We’re sanitizing the bathrooms every half hour. We’re sanitizing if you sit at a table, the second you get up it’s getting sanitized for the next guest. We’re doing every other table. We’re doing our 6 feet separation. For any of our employees that want to wear a mask, are more than welcome to; if you don’t, you don’t have to," said Dan Zierath, Zierath Restaurant Group Owner.

Businesses in the City of Milwaukee will not be able to reopen at midnight. Mayor Tom Barrett said the city needs more time to come up with a plan-- considering there are still many coronavirus cases and officials do not have a good handle on the spread.

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.

Resources for reopening