Saturday, May 15, 2021

Milwaukee's COVID-19 face mask requirements remain in effect despite CDC guidance. Here's why.

From JSOnline:
Alison Dirr
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The City of Milwaukee's face mask requirements remain in effect, despite Thursday's announcement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that significantly loosened restrictions for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The city's requirements were created through an ordinance that was approved by the Common Council and signed by Mayor Tom Barrett last summer. Altering the ordinance requires a similar process, which takes time. 

Here's where things stand.

Here's what Milwaukee's mask mandate says

As it currently stands, the city mask mandate requires anyone in the city who is at least 3 years old to have a face covering when they leave home. Masks must be worn whenever in a building that is open to the public, and when outside in a public space and within 6 feet of any other person who is not a household or family member.

Owners or operators of buildings that are open to the public must make sure that those inside wear masks and can face penalties for not enforcing the ordinance. 

Changes to Milwaukee's mask mandate were recommended before CDC guidance changed

Changes to the outdoor requirements in the ordinance were unanimously recommended for adoption by the council's Public Safety and Health Committee Thursday morning — hours before the new CDC guidance was issued.

Under the new legislation recommended by the committee, the mask ordinance would be altered to require people to follow the CDC's guidance on wearing masks outside instead of providing specific local requirements.

It does not alter the indoor section of the ordinance that requires that masks be worn whenever a person is in a "building open to the public," except to exempt outdoor spaces and patios.

The changes are expected to be taken up by the full council at its next meeting on May 25, though they do not fully reflect the new CDC guidance.

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