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Not everyone ready to ditch masks after Milwaukee mandate expires Tuesday

Downtown Milwaukee
Posted at 4:39 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 08:04:36-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee leaders plan to let the city's latest indoor mask mandate expire on Tuesday as COVID-19 cases continue to dramatically trend downwards.

However, not everyone is ready to ditch the mask right away.

"We're not going to stop wearing them after tomorrow. I feel like that's just a kind thing that we all can do for each other," said Erica Elia, the owner of Classy Girl Cupcakes.

While the city gets ready to lift its latest mask mandate, Elia is cautiously optimistic since we have been here before, feeling comfortable enough to drop the masks, but soon after experienced a jump in transmission.

"We're certainly hopeful. I am curious when the next variant is going to rear its ugly head and we might be right back where we are," Elia said.

Elia added that after the mask mandate was reimposed, at least half of their customers came in wearing a face mask.

Milwaukee joins a growing list of cities that are relaxing indoor mask rules, including Madison, Dane County, and Chicago.

Last week, Milwaukee County's positivity rate dropped to below 5%.

The common council could choose to extend the mandate, but so far there is no indication that will happen.

Despite the news, people seemed to have mixed feelings.

"I think it's sad and I think it should really keep in place because (there is) still COVID out there," Rachida Dillon-El said.

Dillon-El believes the mandate protects people with vulnerable immune systems and plans to continue masking up indoors.

"It makes me feel safer. I don’t know if everybody’s vaccinated or not and stuff like that," Dillon-El said.

Griffin Milliren thinks dropping the mandate is a step forward considering the latest COVID trends and vaccinations, but he plans to keep a mask on in public indoor spaces for now, especially with spring break on the horizon.

"I probably will initially just to see if there's a spike or anything like that, just to be safe if I ever go home and visit my grandparents (and) are older people, things like that," Milliren said.

Milwaukee Public Schools said masks will still be required inside their buildings after the mandate expires on Tuesday.

It will be up to businesses to establish their masking requirements if they choose to.

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