City of Milwaukee eases gathering restrictions

Last updated on February 3rd, 2021 at 03:50 pm

The city of Milwaukee is easing gathering limits as COVID-19 trends show signs of improvement.

Citing improved performance on its COVID-19 gating criteria, the city will permit indoor, socially-distant gatherings of up to 250 people if masks are worn, beginning this Friday.

The current city health order limits gatherings to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors; 25% of total occupancy, or one person per every 30 square feet.

The updated health order, issued Tuesday, paves the way for the limited reopening of museums, public exhibition spaces and other “places of public amusement and activity.” Stadiums, conference centers, dance clubs, swimming pools, arcades, bowling alleys, movie theaters and concert halls are among the businesses that are allowed to open in accordance with the new gathering size limits, physical distancing and masking requirements.

The order states that indoor gatherings of up to 250 people are permitted “if masks are worn, attendees stay seated, and there is sufficient space for distancing.”

The updated health order, issued Tuesday, permits even larger gatherings if an approved safety plan is in place, the city said.

“Changes in our public health orders are based on a careful review of disease trends and authoritative information from the scientific community. The modifications we are making this week allow for additional reopening while maintaining public safety,” acting health commissioner Marlaina Jackson said. “We are cautiously optimistic that Milwaukee will see continued improvement in our gating criteria. Even so, the pandemic continues to take its toll here, and we cannot let our guard down.”

The order takes effect Feb. 5 and the city health department expects it will remain in place for at least the next month.

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee has trended downward since the peak in early November. At its height, the city reported 1,028 new cases on Nov. 9. On Monday, the city had 30 new cases.

As of Jan. 28, the city was “green” in two reopening gating criteria (testing and hospital capacity) and “yellow” in the other three (cases, PPE supply and contact tracing).

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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