Jeramey Jannene

Nine Businesses Receive Warnings For Violating Milwaukee Mask Mandate

Bars and restaurants generating the largest number of complaints. Fines coming next.

By - Aug 4th, 2020 08:25 pm
Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik at the mask mandate signing ceremony. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik at the mask mandate signing ceremony. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Milwaukee Health Department has advanced to the formal warning stage of its enforcement of the city’s mask mandate. Nine violators have already been warned, but no citations have been issued.

The mandate, which went into effect July 16th, requires businesses and building owners to require masks and enforce the requirement. A self-enforced outdoor mandate for people within six feet of non-household members is also included in the ordinance.

“As of today we have issued nine warnings to businesses,” said Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik during a press briefing on Tuesday.

Kowalik said the formal warnings didn’t come as a surprise to the businesses. “When you have a warning that means there was already a conversation.” The warnings have been issued to gas stations, grocery store, a post office, restaurant and bar.

Kowalik said citizen complaints led to many of the “conversations” and warnings.

Continued non-compliance would result in citations issued by the health department. The department is authorized to close businesses for non-compliance. The city could also revoke or not renew licenses of businesses that don’t comply with the order. The citation carries a maximum fine of $500.

People have submitted many complaints about businesses not complying with the requirement. It’s “mainly restaurants and bars,” generating citizen complaints, Kowalik said.

The indoor mask requirement applies to all businesses and buildings “open to the public.” The standard is defined as “any structure or premises licensed by the city of Milwaukee or used in whole or in part as a place of resort, assemblage, lodging, trade, traffic, occupancy, or other use by the public.” It includes gyms, bars, restaurants, stores and many other businesses.

Eleven restaurants in the city have had safety plans approved. Kowalik said the health department was providing placards to businesses with approved safety plans, but said more discussion would be needed to determine if the safety plans could be released to the public. A MHD representative previously said the plans were “confidential.”

Warned Businesses

  • Ace Food Market – 5035 W. Center St.
  • BP – 5912 W. Oklahoma Ave.
  • East Side Maytag Coin Laundry – 2009 E. Kenilworth Pl.
  • Gold Diggers – 4750 N. Hopkins St.
  • McDonald’s – 1614 E. North Ave.
  • Milwaukee Pedal Tavern – 820 S. Water St.
  • Pick ‘n Save – 1100 E. Garfield Ave.
  • Sunrise Foods – 2879 N. Weil St.
  • United States Postal Service – 3600 N. Holton St.

An earlier version of this article used a photo of customers and employees at Allie Boy’s Bagels wearing masks. The business was not one of the nine warned.

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Categories: Food & Drink, Health

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