MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions on June 15, officials announced on Thursday.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said that due to the "positive direction" the city has taken in the pandemic, on June 15, the city will move out of Phase 6 and "away from many of the mandated COVID-19 restrictions."
"I want to be clear, this does not mean the pandemic is over," said Barrett. "Here in Milwaukee and here in Wisconsin, we have done a good job."
"We have the opportunity to return to a version of normal," Barrett said.
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The only requirement that will be in place after June 15 will be the mask requirement, officials said.
But officials say that could change now that the CDC just released its updated mask guidelines.
In a major shift, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that it’s easing its indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.
At a White House briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors, in most settings.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” said Walensky. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Locations, such as health care facilities, will continue to follow their specific infection control recommendations, according to Walensky.
Mayor Barrett and health officials say they've seen a downward trend in positive COVID-19 cases throughout the city over the past two weeks. According to the city's health department, last week, they had 113 cases per 100,000 people. But as of Thursday, officials say they've had 82 cases per 100,000, and a positivity rate of 4%.
"If at any point it starts to look like anything like what occurred last fall we will have to put restrictions back in place," said Kirsten Johnson, health commissioner for the City of Milwaukee.