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 7-week mark for Phase 4.1. The last update showed a decline in community spread but it was not statistically significant. This week, we have a minor increase.  The slope of linear regression is {0.12 with a P-value of 0.187 (95% CI:-0.05, 0.28)]. However, our positivity rate has increased; it is now 6.4 % up from 4.9% last week. We will hold in phase 4.1 and reassess our progress next week, September 24, 2020 as a consistent 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.

Under our phase 4.1 order, restaurants and bars are required to submit their Business COVID Safety Plan and fill out the Risk Assessment Tool to continue in person dining. (Deadline was 11:59 p.m. CT, September 15, 2020). The facility’s COVID safety plan is comprised of two pieces. A complete safety plan is comprised of supporting documentation that addresses the components of the Risk Assessment Tool. The Risk Assessment Tool can be located at: Documents should be sent to cehadmin@milwaukee.govwith the subject line “COVID SAFETY PLAN: [insert name and address].” They can also be mailed in dropped into the drop box located in the Zeidler Municipal Building, on the first floor, by the lead and vital records department.

The Zeidler Municipal Building

841 N. Broadway

Milwaukee, WI 53202

8am – 430pm

Mon – Fri

Closed on the Weekends

All plans will be reviewed in the order 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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