MILWAUKEE – On May 15, 2020, the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) issued a public health and safety order called ‘Moving Milwaukee Forward.’ This order uses a measured, phased approach that utilizes data-driven gating criteria that aligns with federal and state guidance. This plan outlines the measures needed for the City of Milwaukee based on the latest science. Milwaukee has made steady progress in reducing the impact of COVID-19. Below are the Five Key Indicators and Gating Criteria that drive our City’s advancement through the phases and guide our reopening.

These measures are reassessed every Friday but advancement through the phases can only occur 14 days after we are in a new phase. Today is the 6-week mark for Phase 4.1. The last update showed a decline in community spread but it was not statistically significant. This week is the same as last week; the slope of linear regression is {-0.02 with a P-value of 0.671 (95% CI:-0.14, 0.09)]. However, our positivity rate has decreased to its lowest point since we started tracking it in May; it is now 4.9%. We will hold in phase 4.1 and reassess our progress next week, September 18, 2020 as a statistically significant decline is our goal.  MHD will continue to monitor the situation to determine if additional protective measures are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Reminder – Masks are required per the MKE Cares mask ordinance, which went into effect on July 16, 2020 for the city of Milwaukee and the rest of the State on August 1, 2020. Please report business violations of the mask laws and order 4.1. by calling 414-286-3674 or emailing Complaints will remain anonymous.

Also, under our phase 4.1 order, restaurants and bars will be required to submit a safety plan and Risk Assessment Tool by 11:59 p.m. CT on September 15, 2020, to continue in person dining without capacity limits (indoors and outdoors). Documents should be sent to with the subject line “COVID SAFETY PLAN: [insert name and address].” All plans will be reviewed in the order that they have been received, and approval may take several days. Once a business has been approved, the operator will receive a certificate or seal from the Milwaukee Health Department indicating that they may operate safely.

There are a variety of resources for schools and businesses available online on our new school resource webpage located at: Reminder—the MHD is continuing to review COVID-19 safety plans for schools that are located in the City of Milwaukee and desire to have options aside from virtual. Plans are reviewed in the order that they are received and prioritized by the open date. Schools will receive an approval letter from the Commissioner of Health. Additionally, the City of Milwaukee has and will continue to provide a webinar series to business owners and operators with sector specific guidance. Please visit our website for more information on COVID-19 safety plan submission and webinars.

Lastly, the City of Milwaukee key indicators for Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely have been updated as they are every Thursday and are available online at

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