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Alderperson wants to mandate masks for Milwaukee

Posted at 8:41 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 23:11:43-04

MILWAUKEE — A new ordinance in the works for Milwaukee could mean masks are no longer optional. Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic wants to require masks in public.

Flu Mask Coronavirus mask

“Anytime you leave your home or as some people call it, your bubble, you should have your mask handy and be prepared to wear it in order to protect the maximum amount of people. Certainly inside, and outdoors is recommended,” said Dimitrijevic.

She will be introducing the MKE Cares ordinance, which would create a mandate for masks. Some people in the city say it is a good idea.

mask covid-19 coronavirus
Jeremy Lyons supports the idea of a mask mandate for Milwaukee.

“I’m for the masks,” said Jeremy Lyons who was wearing his mask as he walking with his wife along the lakefront.

This new act comes as Milwaukee moves into phase 4 of reopening. It allows for more businesses to open at higher capacities in Milwaukee.

Places in Milwaukee that reopen at 75 percent capacity.

  • Child Care Setting
  • Youth Programs and Summer Programs
  • Stores

Places in Milwaukee that can open at 50 percent of capacity

  • Faith-Based Gatherings
  • Gyms
  • Gathering Public Venues or Homes
  • Hotels
  • Libraries
  • Restaurants and Bars

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he supports the use of masks as Milwaukee moves into this new phase.

biking lakefront milwaukee
Teresa Franco is out biking with her children. She doesn't want a mandate for masks in Milwaukee.

“We know people don’t want to be inside. So we have to take steps knowing they are going to be out in public. What can we do and what can they do not only for their own health but the health of others,” said Barrett.

The mayor isn’t the only one backing the mask requirement. 70 Milwaukee business including Fiserv Forum, Colectivo Coffee, and the Pabst Theater group want Milwaukee to have a mask mandate.

But even some people who support wearing masks themselves say they aren’t sure it should be required.

“It's your choice. It should be your choice,” said Shena Lyons who was out wearing a mask.

mask woman coronavirus covid-19
Shena Lyons wears a mask in public but thinks small businesses should not have to follow any mask mandates in one is passed in Milwaukee.

“We would have to comply with what is being asked. But preferably I wouldn’t like to do that,” said Teresa Franco who was outside without a mask.

The MKE Cares ordinance will go before the Public Safety and Health Committee during a special virtual meeting on Thursday, July 2 at 9 a.m.

Those interested in providing comment electronically on the legislation should follow these steps:

  1. Visit milwaukee.legistar.com/Calendar [milwaukee.legistar.com].
  2. Select the “e-comment” button across from the meeting during which the desired file will be heard. Meeting info is listed above.
  3. Scroll down to the item number that corresponds to the desired file and click the “comment” button.
  4. Fill in the necessary information, select a position, and type a comment in the comment box. Note that comments are limited to 600 characters.
  5. Hit submit.

Those wishing to provide comments by more traditional methods should email jpolan@milwaukee.gov and indicate the mask mandate file in the subject line or call (414) 286-2366. Email is preferred.

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