Milwaukee Common Council debates merits of new mask mandate

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Common Council will debate the merits of reinstating a mask mandate as COVID-19 transmission remains high in Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin.

The new warrant request was submitted by aldermen Marina Dimitrijevic and JoCasta Zamarippa, who say that at the very least requiring people to wear masks indoors in a public place will help slow the spread of the virus.

The city of Milwaukee has averaged about 3,000 new positive tests per week since Jan. 1, though the number has been trending down in recent days.

During a lengthy debate over the proposed mandate two weeks ago, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson voiced support, though she warned it might not be as effective in stopping the spread of the virus as it would only be enforceable within the city limits.

If the Council approves the new mandate today, anyone over the age of three will be required to wear a mask indoors in a public place, regardless of their vaccination status. the mandate would be in place as long as the Covid-19 transmission rate is at or above 100 new cases per 100,000 population.

The Milwaukee City Council meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, January 18.

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