CITY OF MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee is revising its COVID-19 public health order to allow larger public gatherings, as gating criteria for coronavirus cases continue to show improvement.
The Milwaukee Health Department issued Order #4.4 on Tuesday, which will allow indoor gatherings to include up to 250 people, as long as attendees wear masks, stay seated and socially distance. If an establishment has an approved safety plan with the city, it can allow even larger numbers of people inside.
Order #4.4 also no longer requires COVID-19 testing for team and contact sports, and further allows sports participants to bring two people to games and other sporting events. With an approved safety plan, players can bring even more people to games.
Order #4.4 will go into effect Friday, Feb. 5, and will remain in place for at least a month. It replaces Order #4.2, which went into effect when the order before that - requiring the most stringent safety measures to limit the spread of the virus to date - expired on Jan. 15.
Acting Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson explained in a statement Tuesday that the move towards reopening comes after a careful review of COVID-19 trends from the scientific community.
"The modifications we are making this week allow for additional reopening while maintaining public safety,” Jackson said. “We are cautiously optimistic that Milwaukee will see continued improvement in our gating criteria. Even so, the pandemic continues to take its toll here, and we cannot let our guard down.”
Order #4.4 also allows a number of other activities, including the reopening of museums and public exhibition spaces; allows bars and restaurants to resume counter service for ordering and to-go service; and modifies rules on weddings, funerals and religious events.
According to Milwaukee County's COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday, the number of confirmed positive cases and deaths has plummeted since reaching a peak last November. Almost 48,000 vaccines have been administered in the county to date.
The revised order comes after the city health department began administering vaccines for people 65 years and older at the Wisconsin Center on Monday.
View Milwaukee's new COVID order below: