Like them or not, it's time to mask up.
With COVID-19 numbers rising, along with the medical evidence that masks can slow the spread of the virus and the CDC director's recent statements that the pandemic could be controlled in four to eight weeks with mass mask cooperation, mask mandates are increasing throughout states and cities throughout the country – including Wisconsin and Milwaukee. To help guide your way as smartly and safely as possible, here's a guide to which parts of Milwaukee have instituted their own particular mask mandates, what they require and more – as well as which nationwide stores and restaurants have begun mandating masks no matter their location.
Put into effect on Thursday, July 16, the City of Milwaukee's mask ordinance – called MKE Cares – requires a mask or face covering on any person in an indoor public space, as well as a mask or face covering on any person in an outdoor public space when within six feet of another person (save for those who are members of the person's family or household). Building owners and operators found violating the mandate, or allowing workers or guests to flout the ordinance, will be given a citation of no less than $50 and no more than $500, enforced by the health department. The health department can also consider revoking licenses or closing the building down. Those looking to report a violation should contact the health department at (414) 286-3521 or email email@example.com, not 911 or 211. The mandate is in effect for the duration of the ongoing "Moving Milwaukee Forward" health and safety orders.
- In addition to the City of Milwaukee mandate, the Milwaukee County Transit System announced that, starting on Saturday, Aug. 1, masks will be required on buses. Passengers are asked to bring their own face coverings, but MCTS is planning on providing free masks to customers (one per rider) while supplies last. For more information on MCTS' COVID-19 procedures as well as those exempt from the mask mandate, click here.
Passed on Monday, July 13, Glendale's mandate requires a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces for ages 4 and older. However, the mandate is a resolution rather than an ordinance, meaning that there are no penalties for violating for the mask requirement, relying on self-enforcement.
Though WISN 12 reports that the final vote tally was a tight 8-7, the Racine Common Council passed a mask mandate on Tuesday, July 21, requiring masks both in indoors public spaces as well as outdoors when within six feet of another person (with exemptions for legitimate medical reasons). Unlike the previously listed mandates, both people and businesses can be fined under the mandate, with individual violators cited $25 for a first offense, $50 for the second and $100 each time after that, while businesses found disobeying the ordinance can be fined between $50 and $500. The mask mandate will go into effect on Monday, July 27 and is set to expire at the end of the year, with a review for the ordinance set for October.
Voted unanimously by the Village Board on Wednesday, July 8 and put into effect Friday, July 10, Shorewood's mask mandate requires face coverings in indoor places open to the public on anyone 4 years old or older. The Board expanded their mandate in August to include a mask requirement outdoors as well. Businesses caught disobeying the ordinance will be contacted by the village with educational materials, according to FOX 6, with further discipline possible if repeated violations are reported. The mandate is in effect until January 2021, though that date can be moved earlier or later according to the state of the pandemic.
On Thursday, July 23, the Whitefish Bay Village Board passed an ordinance requiring all people ages 5 and older to wear masks in indoor public spaces, save for those with legitimate medical exemptions. According to FOX 6, unlike some other local mandates, the order is enforceable on both businesses and individuals breaking the ordinance, with those caught not wearing masks or not enforcing the mandate inside their public premises at risk of a citation between $50 and $500. Businesses caught allowing violations may also be risk of the village revoking their license. The mandate will be in effect though the village's ongoing coronavirus health emergency.
National brands and stores
The following national chains have announced mask mandates, requiring face coverings inside their stores.
- Aldi (starting July 27)
- Apple Stores
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
- McDonald's (beginning Aug. 1)
- Noodles & Company
- Office Depot/OfficeMax
- Pick'n Save/Metro Market
- Sam's Club
- Target (beginning Aug. 1)
- Trader Joe's
- Whole Foods
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.