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Milwaukee moves to Phase 4 reopening while Madison shuts down indoor bars

hacienda beer company milwaukee
patio hacienda
Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 12:36:42-04

MILWAUKEE — It is a tale of two cities in Wisconsin. Milwaukee is moving ahead and reopening more businesses, while Madison is pulling back and shutting down in-door bar service.

People in Milwaukee are enjoying the newest phase of reopening of the Moving Milwaukee Forward plan, Phase 4. That allows some businesses to open at 50-percent capacity including bars and restaurants. Though not every business in taking advantage of the change.

hacienda beer company milwaukee
Matt LaBonte, the bar manager of Hacienda Beer Company, says the business does not want to open its dining room.

“We are only open for patio service only 6 feet apart,” said Matt LaBonte, the bar manager of Hacienda Beer Company.

The dining room is empty, its kitchen is still closed at Hacienda Beer Company.

hacienda milwaukee dining
Matt LaBonte, the bar manager of Hacienda Beer Company sits at their patio window to take orders.

“It’s a difficult decision,” said LaBonte. “We care about the community. We are a community business and we have to see how things play out.”

LaBonte is worried about the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country. But there are also spikes in coronavirus happening in other parts of the state.

patio hacienda
Hacienda Beer Company decides to only offers outdoor patio seating despite Milwaukee allowing indoor dining at 50-percent.

“The fire is burning a little hotter in certain areas of the state. Dane County, Winnebago County and LaCrosse County, over the past couple of weeks have had some increases,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard

As a result, Madison, which is in Dane County, is pulling back and closing down indoor bar service on Thursday.

“In these counties that have had higher case rates. They tend to be a younger population, the 20 to 30 age group. And when we ask common risk factors tends to be social gatherings and bars and restaurants. That what tends to be driving the transmission in some of these areas,” said Westergaard.

According to Westergaard, there has not been a strong link found between increased COVID-19 cases and protesters. Though it is something they continue to look at.

Westergaard says even though COVID-19 rates are up, hospitalizations and death are not on the rise.

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