MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee businesses faced just under $230,000 in fines for violating the city's COVID-19 protocols since last summer.
The Milwaukee Health Department issued a total of $229,199 in fines, via a total of 144 citations, through March 26, our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal reported Thursday, citing city data.
The health department began issuing citations last summer if restaurants and bars, among other businesses, broke rules regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, capacity limits and other rules.
Last year the department increased the minimum penalty for violating the rules to $2,500 for the initial violation. That fine increases to $5,000 and is capped at $20,000 per inspection. The city hoped the heftier fines would increase compliance with the COVID-19 requirements.
Milwaukee's COVID-19 protocols remain in Phase 6. The department announced it would likely tighten restrictions in the week of April 13, but on that day decided to stay the course in Phase 6. Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said at the time that the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests remained in the “moderate transmission” category - matching Phase 6 requirements.