Could a mask mandate be a solution to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Milwaukee? Health experts weigh in

Milwaukee has a mask advisory in place but no mandate.
Posted at 5:19 AM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 06:19:33-05

The Milwaukee Common Council is set to vote on a mask mandate in Milwaukee on January 18th.

In the last week, the state reached a new record in COVID-19 case counts, which has experts pleading for more safety measures.

With the Omicron variant being the most dominant and contagious strain in Milwaukee, health experts believe a mask mandate is more necessary than ever.

"A mask mandate or more people wearing masks slows the transmission of COVID-19 and what that might do is decrease the rate of hospitalizations to local hospitals that are overwhelmed and really unable to take additional patients," said Dr. Jeff Pothof of UW-Health.

On Friday, Wisconsin reached a new record for the 4th day in a row reporting 12,293 cases, according to state Department of Health Services data.

On Friday evening, Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced more than half a million N95 masks to be distributed free for the community. Saturday cars lined up bumper to bumper to receive
their protection.

"Masks are yet another tool, masks provide an additional level of protection," said the mayor.

For locals like Maddie Waller, a mask mandate is something she would like to see happen. Waller works at a grocery store and is in contact with mask-less customers every day.

"I do feel more comfortable when customers come in when they have a mask," said Waller.

Milwaukee has a mask advisory in place but no mandate.

Monday all three Milwaukee Health Department testing and vaccine sites, along with Public Libraries, will be distributing N95 masks during normal hours. The mayor also plans on ordering additional shipments this week.

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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