The City of Milwaukee Phase 4 Assessment Update
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 align 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.
As previously stated, Five Key Indicators and Gating Criteria drive our City’s advancement through the phases. 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 14 day mark for Phase 4. The time period for assessment of Phase 4’s order will be extended now due to the need to exercise more caution as cases continue to rise elsewhere. Movement out of Phase 4 can only occur if all 5 indicators are GREEN which will signify that we have met our goals. MHD will continue to monitor the situation and determine if additional protective measures are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Cases: Measures how much COVID-19 is in our community and its impact.
As case totals can change dramatically by the day, and averages include outliers, we elected to use a statistical approach called Linear Regression to measure our progress. This statistic uses an industry standard of p<0.05 for statistical significance; this enables us to report the statistic with confidence or accuracy. The positivity rate, which assesses if our testing strategy is on point to find enough cases, is evaluated as well.
Current Status – YELLOW—No Significant slope trend for cases (0.15, P=0.069) or positivity rate (9.1%) as of 7/9. Improved from red last week (0.53, P=0.007) or positivity rate 12.2%.
Testing: Measured as the ability for residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 to access a lab test.
MHD strongly encourages regular testing for essential worker, those that may be at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 through gathering with others outside of their household, and those that are symptomatic. Access to testing continues to increase in our area. Community testing sites are still available on the north and south sides of Milwaukee: Barack Obama High School – Custer Stadium (4300 Fairmount Ave.) and UMOS (2710 S. Chase Ave). While we continue to monitor the efficacy of these sites and develop alternatives, we would like to continue to encourage the community, especially those that may have increased their risk of exposure to COVID-19 while engaging in protests and demonstrations to be tested. Please visit our website for more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing locations: www.milwaukee.gov/coronavirus or call 2-1-1.
Current Status – YELLOW (average is 1702 daily up from 1682 last week but positivity rate is now 9.1%). No change from last week.
Current Status – GREEN—per Milwaukee County COVID-19 Map as of 7/9. Remained steady since last week. Hospitalization was at approximately 6%.
Safety: Adequate PPE available for healthcare personnel, long-term care facilities, and first responders. This includes masks, gowns, and gloves. This represents that the majority of hospitals in the Greater Milwaukee area have 8-28 days of all PPE on hand.
Current Status – YELLOW—per Milwaukee County COVID-19 Map as of 7/9. Remained steady since last week.
Tracing: This measure is defined as the ability to count, trace, and monitor COVID-19 cases and outbreaks by MHD. The MHD successfully reached city residents within 3 contact attempts. The average time to make the first contact attempt is 1.4 days.
Current Status – YELLOW as of 7/9 (slightly declined from 83.3% last week to 76.5% this week). No significant change since last week.
While in Phase 4, most businesses and activities can continue but on a larger scale while abiding by Physical Distancing, Protective Measure Requirements, and Safe Business Practices. The MHD has developed protocols that outline the necessary COVID-19 safety measures required in order for a restaurant or bar operate without a capacity limit safely, “The Risk Assessment Tool for Expanding Capacity in Restaurants and Bars.” The purpose of this tool is to assist the MHD while reviewing an establishment’s COVID-19 Safety Plan. The assessment tool is to be completed by the operator and submitted along with their COVID-19 Safety Plan. Electronic submission is in development, until that is finalized, documents can be sent to email@example.com for approval.
The email subject line should read: COVID SAFETY PLAN: insert business name and address.
Plans will be reviewed in the order they have been received. Approval time may take several days. Once approved, the operator will receive a certificate/seal demonstrating plan approval and will be able to operate safely without a capacity limit.
Safety plan documents are available in Spanish and Hmong languages on our website as soon as they are completed. If an operator needs assistance in translation, please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
As with COVID-19 pandemic orders, the MHD has anticipated voluntary compliance and has taken an educational approach. If an operator is found to be in non-compliance of ANY of the Moving Milwaukee Forward Orders, there will be a consultation, inspection, education prior to the last resort, which is citation and possibly arrest. The MHD has citation powers while the Milwaukee Police Department has citation and arrest powers.
There are a variety of resources for businesses by sector that are available online (please see below). The City of Milwaukee has and will continue to provide a webinar series to business owners and operators with sector specific guidance that is posted on our website www.milwaukee.gov/MMFS.
This order is for all establishments within the City of Milwaukee limits. Phase 4 includes significant changes for a variety of sectors. Please note, capacity refers to building occupancy. Business owners and operators have the right to remain closed until we advance through the phases and formally conclude our COVID-19 response efforts:
- Beaches – All individuals and pets shall comply with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements. Team and contact sports on public beaches remain prohibited.
- Chartered Fishing Excursions – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Child Care Settings including Youth Programs – 75% capacity
- Faith based gatherings – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Garage Sales, Rummage and Yard Sales – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Gatherings in Homes or Public Venues – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people. NOTE- the City of Milwaukee including the MHD and Department of Public Works as well as Milwaukee County Parks has the right to deny permits based on active outbreaks of COVID-19 in our community. The top census tracks for COVID-19 cases are evaluated weekly and will be used during Phase 4 and beyond. Safety is our top concern.
- Gyms and Athletic Centers – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Hotels/Motels – 50% capacity; Pools, hot tubs, and exercise facilities are limited to the lesser of: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Libraries – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Places of amusement – Must be the lesser of the three: 1) 50% of the total occupancy of the location, 2) one person for every 30 square feet or 3) 250 people.
- Retail Establishments – 50% capacity
- Restaurants/Bars – 50% capacity *ability to operate without a capacity limit with a COVID- 19 Safety Plan approved by the health department.
- Salons/Spas – 1 client per service provider
- Stores – 75% capacity
- Youth Summer Programs – 75% capacity
The following Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements are required for all individuals on the premises (staff and patrons):
- Maintain 6 feet distance between people/patrons
- Promote and conduct hand hygiene with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer
- Promote covering of coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow or tissue not hands)
- Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and sharing cleaning protocols with staff and patrons;
- Promote non-contact forms of greetings- no handshakes or hugs
- Strongly recommend the use of a mask or cloth face covering. Businesses are allowed to require this as a policy to provide service. We recommend provision of single use masks/mouth coverings for staff and patrons. This will be updated if MKE Cares passes.
The order also states that establishments must follow all other public health recommendations issued by State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
Additional resources for business owners and operators:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Interim Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—Includes sector specific information
Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce
Coronavirus Guidance for Businesses during the Pandemic
Wisconsin Department of Health Services—Includes information about employer-based outbreaks
COVID-19: Businesses, Employers, and Workers
Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection
Resources for reopening/expanding services while reducing the risk of COVID-19:
COVID-19 Business Resources
COVID-19 Restaurant Resources
Please visit our websites for information and updates:
- MKE County: COVID-19 Cases Rise Again - Graham Kilmer - Sep 24th, 2021
- City of Milwaukee Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Sep 24th, 2021
- CVS Health Announces Availability of Pfizer-BioNTech Booster Shot to Eligible Populations - CVS Health - Sep 24th, 2021
- UW System announces two additional universities have reached 70% threshold - University of Wisconsin System - Sep 24th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Releases Statement Regarding Passing of Officer Joseph Kurer - Gov. Tony Evers - Sep 23rd, 2021
- MATC to Host Public COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus Sept. 28 - Milwaukee Area Technical College - Sep 23rd, 2021
- Op Ed: Biden is Right On Vaccine Mandates - John Torinus - Sep 23rd, 2021
- Pandemic Shows Value of Local Pharmacies - Elizabeth Dohms-Harter - Sep 22nd, 2021
- State Sen. Jacque Released From Hospital - Megan Hart - Sep 21st, 2021
- City Offers $100 Vaccination Incentive - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 21st, 2021
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here