'Life and death': Mayor Barrett issues 'Stay at Home' order for Milwaukee

Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 17:05:16-04

Mayor Tom Barrett and City Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik have issued a Stay at Home order for Milwaukee, one day before Gov. Evers' statewide order will take place.

The mayor said the decision to enact the order before the state is due to the fact that the majority of COVID-19 cases are in Milwaukee County and city.

The Stay at Home order is modeled after the one currently in place in Illinois and the one scheduled to go into effect in the next few days in Wisconsin, and is not to be confused with a Shelter in Place order.

That being said, community members may still leave their homes to go to the grocery store, go for walks or go to work. A Shelter in Place order would mean individuals out in public, i.e. at the laundromat or at work, would need to stay there. This is not that.

"The major goal is to change human behavior," said Mayor Barrett. "Change in a way that is safer for the community, safer for all of us."

People who do not follow the order and continue to congregate in public spaces, such as around bars, liquor stores or restaurants will be asked by police to move, but the overall goal of the measure is that people will comply without law enforcement involvement.

Workers providing essential services, such as healthcare professionals and grocers, are allowed to travel to and from work.

There is no end date set for the emergency order at this time.

Milwaukee's Stay at Home order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Three individuals have died from coronavirus in the City of Milwaukee as of Monday.

Individuals most at risk for COVID-19 are those 60-years or older with underlying health issues.

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