MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee has decided to hold off reverting to a previous COVID-19 order that would have brought more restrictions to some businesses.
Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Kirsten Johnson said during a press briefing Tuesday that the city will be staying in the Phase 6 order for the next few weeks.
The department announced last week that it anticipated reverting to the Phase 5 order that would have hiked capacity limits for businesses that don't have COVID-19 plans approved with the city. At the time, the department cited rising cases of COVID-19 and the spread of COVID-19 variants as the cause.
“We had a blip, where the cases were going up over the past three to four weeks. That blip has actually declined in the city and started to plateau," Commissioner Johnson said Tuesday. "I don’t think now is the time to put in a more restrictive order, given our data, the way it’s playing out, because we’re between the two phases - between moderate transmission and substantial transmission."
In a statement issued last Friday, the health department warned the seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people stood at 95.6 - a rate the health department defined as "substantial transmission." The percentage of positive tests for coronavirus also increased to 5 percent or "moderate transmission."
Phase 6 allows 50 percent capacity for businesses without safety plans. Phase 5 allows 25 percent capacity for businesses without safety plans. Businesses with approved plans are allowed up to 100 percent capacity.
Since late March, the Milwaukee Health Department has expressed concern in a number of statements regarding the rise of cases and the spread of the COVID-19 variants.
The city's mask mandate remains in place, even though the statewide version was struck down by the state Supreme Court.