Officials implore practicing safe social distancing going into the weekend

Posted at 10:25 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 23:25:04-04

Milwaukee city and county leaders are issuing stern reminders about safe social distancing heading into the weekend.

"Whether it's parks, whether it's any public space and people are congregating, we'll use every tool we have," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

State law could allow law enforcement to issue at least a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Inspector Daniel Hughes says the force is focused right now on educating before enforcing. He said if they encounter people in violation, they will tell the group to disperse. If law enforcement sees it happen again, they may issue a citation.

"What we want to do is get voluntary compliance, I think that's what everybody wants right now," Inspector Hughes said.

Chicago's mayor shut down the city's lakefront trail, and people in Milwaukee hope that doesn't happen here.

"I would be heartbroken, and I think the entire city would lose both spiritually and physically," said Michael Gauthier.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he doesn't think Milwaukee is at that point.

"But if I see any evidence of congregating, we're going to go there with lightning speed," Mayor Barrett said.

Gauthier says people have been pretty good about giving plenty of space on the lakefront.

"Hopefully that continues," Gauthier said. "Hopefully, we all can enjoy a little beauty and freedom in these difficult times."

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

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

Latest news and headlines here.