City of Milwaukee Health Department
Press Release

The City of Milwaukee Phase 4.1 Order Update


By - Aug 28th, 2020 08:00 am

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 but we still have a long way to go. We will continue to focus on the importance of continuation and resumption of businesses and activities for all sectors of our economy.

Below are the Five Key Indicators and Gating Criteria that drive our City’s advancement through the phases.

Image from the City of Milwaukee.

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 28-day mark for Phase 4.1. We are pleased to report that we have a statistically significant decline in COVID-19 cases [-0.19, P-value of 0.001 (95% CI: -0.28, -0.10)] and our positivity rate is down to 5%.  We have not had a statistically significant increase/decrease since the week of July 2nd. Considering our latest update, we will need to hold in Phase 4.1 to make sure that we are on the right track. We will reassess our progress next week, September 4, 2020.  MHD will continue to monitor the situation and 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.

Also, under our phase 4.1 order, restaurants and bars will be required to submit a safety plan and Risk Assessment Tool by 11:59 p.m. CT on September 15, 2020, to continue in person dining without capacity limits (indoors and outdoors). Documents should be sent to with the subject line “COVID SAFETY PLAN: [insert name and address].” All plans will be reviewed in the order that they have been 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

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Mentioned in This Press Release

One thought on “The City of Milwaukee Phase 4.1 Order Update”

  1. steenwyr says:

    Why* aren’t boring announcements like this inserted as PSAs on the nightly news or on YouTube? Even if people still disagreed, at least there’d be awareness that there was a plan…

    A google search (not perfect) at the time of this comment shows maybe only Fox covered this particular update. Other local news (NPR) has coverage too, but not Journal Sentinel, for example.

    I’m picking on the groups (affiliated) with TV stations since even with other coverage, it’s all opt-in and thus subject to our own bubbles.

    MHD does look active on Facebook, but again, opt-in.

    * settle down pedants; I know a timeslot costs money, but maybe when put in terms of an ROI, it’s well spent

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