Jeramey Jannene

Bars and Restaurants Can Open Friday in Milwaukee County Suburbs

In-person patronage still prohibited in the City of Milwaukee.

By - May 19th, 2020 03:35 pm
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Bayshore Town Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bayshore Town Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bars and restaurants in all 18 Milwaukee County suburbs can open to in-person business starting Friday, May 22nd.

The joint Milwaukee County order, which does not encompass the City of Milwaukee, was issued May 14th following the Wisconsin Supreme Court striking down the statewide “Safer at Home” order and is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st.

“This next phase allows all remaining businesses in the 18 suburban municipalities to open, if they choose to, utilizing the “Suburban Milwaukee County Safe Opening Capacity Guidance” chart that will be available on local health department websites. Businesses are also instructed to adhere to CDC and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s safe business practices and physical distancing and protective measures for staff and patrons,” said the communities in a joint statement.

The communities have produced a “safe opening capacity guidance” chart which includes best practices, including encouraging curbside pickup and providing spacing for customers.

Bars and restaurants in all 18 communities may open with a recommended limit of 50 percent of their prior capacity. Cudahy had already pulled out of the order and allowed its bars and restaurants to reopen. Gatherings are recommended not to exceed more than 10 people.

The suburban order governs Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, River Hills, South Milwaukee, Shorewood, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, West Milwaukee and Whitefish Bay. None of the counties bordering Milwaukee have countywide restrictions.

“We ask our residents and businesses to act responsibly and safely,” said South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks. “The decision by the Supreme Court did not end the pandemic.”

Bars and restaurants in the City of Milwaukee must remain closed to in-person patronage, but are allowed to offer curbside pickup, carryout and delivery. The City’s public health order does not have an end date. “We are still evaluating what our next steps are,” said Mayor Tom Barrett during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon. “We are trying to follow the health care and the science as much as possible.”

Milwaukee County has 5,185 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, approximately 40 percent of all the cases in the state. The county has the greatest number of cases and the third-highest case rate per capita.

Suburban businesses are encouraged to contact their local health department for more guidance.

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