MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee's mask mandate could be be terminated before its expiration date on March 1. However, Alderwoman Marina Diimitrijevic, the chair of the common council's public health and safety commission, said she doesn't think it will end early, according to reporting from our news partner the Milwaukee Business Journal.
COVID-19 cases are dropping after the Omicron variant surged across Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the country. On Feb. 8, the 7-day average for positive cases in Milwaukee was at 376 compared to a peak of 5,068 on Jan. 18.
Despite this decrease, Ald. Dimitrijevic doesn't believe the mask mandate will be lifted early saying that Milwaukee is still in "extreme transmission at this time."
“We will check the data next week and if a decline continues, the mandate will likely expire on the date that was set,” she said in a statement to the Milwaukee Business Journal.
The mandate started on Jan. 20 and March 1 is the next time that the common council convenes to discuss the matter.
Some in Milwaukee believe that the mandate needs to end sooner because it's bad for business. Omar Shaikh, who operates Carnevor and the 3rd St. Market Hall, is one of those people.
"There are a lot of people that don't want to come down here because of the mask mandate. They are over it. We need to move on. The thing is the whole mask policy with restaurants is goofy. You have to wear it standing, but when you sit down, you can take it off. Does the virus go over your head when you're sitting down?" Shaikh said.