Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic
Press Release

Transparency, Insight and Dialogue Needed on Decision to Rescind Milwaukee’s Public Health Order

Statement of Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Alderman Cavalier Johnson May 20, 2021

By - May 20th, 2021 08:19 am

The announcement that the City of Milwaukee’s emergency health order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic will end on June 1 came as a surprise to members the Common Council and city residents.

We all wish the pandemic were over as it has cost us all a great deal. Wishing, however, does not make it so and the virus remains among us. Worse, the rate of vaccination among city residents has clearly plateaued and new efforts must be deployed to reduce inequity and increase the overall vaccination rate.

To those, therefore, that made the decision to withdraw the orders, we would ask:

While communities like Madison and those in Door County are reporting vaccination rates above 60%, Milwaukee’s is near 38%, and far lower for people of color. Was this considered? Was a metric considered to attach the lifting of the health order to such as an increase in vaccinations?

Children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated and they make up nearly 15% of the city’s population. Did the Administration consult with pediatricians regarding the potential consequences of nearly 60% of Milwaukeeans being unmasked and unvaccinated indoors, especially with unvaccinated children?

As a city, we have carefully followed the science during this pandemic. What science is being used to assert that unvaccinated individuals should be unmasked indoors at this time?

A special meeting of the Public Safety and Health Committee is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 26 to hear from the Mayor and Health Department to discuss the rescinding of our public health order, and – at the very least – hold a public hearing so the constituents we serve can offer up their views on how all of Milwaukee can be best kept safe. I encourage all residents to submit their questions and comments now via the e-comment option.

Those wishing to provide comments can utilize the City’s e-comment feature by following these steps:

  1. Visit milwaukee.legistar.com/Calendar.
  2. Select the “e-comment” button across from the meeting during which the file will be heard. Meeting info is listed above.
  3. Scroll down to the item number that corresponds to the desired file and click the “comment” button.
  4. Fill in the necessary information, select a position and type a comment in the comment box. Note that comments are limited to 600 characters.
  5. Hit submit.

Residents and other interested parties will be able to tune into this special meeting by watching the City Channel (channel 25 on Spectrum Cable and channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse in the City of Milwaukee) or via streaming video on the city website at city.milwaukee.gov/Channel25.

In the meantime, I will continue to encourage those who are not yet vaccinated to take that very important step to help keep our community safe and healthy. You can visit https://city.milwaukee.gov/CovidVax for information on where you can get vaccinated, or call (414) 286-6800 to schedule an in-home vaccination.

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

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Statement of Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic May 25, 2021

Transparency, Insight and Dialogue Needed on Decision to Rescind Milwaukee’s Public Health Order

Statement of Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Alderman Cavalier Johnson May 20, 2021

One thought on “Transparency, Insight and Dialogue Needed on Decision to Rescind Milwaukee’s Public Health Order”

  1. mkeumkenews09 says:

    Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Alderman Cavalier Johnson, we hear you.

    First though, is there a policy or procedure that would have required the Health Department to communicate to the Common Council about the updated mask policy? If not, then why the uproar as It appears the city is following the CDC guidelines – if you are fully vaccinated you do not have to wear a mask. Of course, the real issue is that there is no way to know who has not been vaccinated, in public settings.

    The City Administration and Health Department can’t get everyone vaccinated on their own. If everyone in the city who was able to, had gotten vaccinated, would the city vaccination rate would be over 80% by now? The administration provided the ability and capacity to deliver a much higher percentage of vaccines than what folks took advantage of. The Administration provided many avenues and options for people to get vaccinated.

    Speaking of more transparency, how about some from the Common Council. Can these questions be addressed:
    1 – What concrete, specific steps have each of the Milwaukee Common Council members taken, individually, to get constituents out to be vaccinated, or still can be taken?
    2 – What coordinated efforts and steps has the full Common Council used to help get constituents out to be vaccinated, or still can be taken?
    3 – Are the vaccination percentages for each neighborhood or aldermanic ward, available for review? This granularity is key to finding folks, to listen to them, to find out what it will take for them to go get the vaccine. This is an area that the Health Department could really use the help of the Common Council members and their networks.
    4 – How many residents has each alderperson spoken with to encourage vaccinations – individually and in group settings, and through your networks?

    During the delivery of vaccines, it looks like the City Administration and Health Department have done an excellent job on vaccinations, likely better than most cities and villages around the country. It is clear, that the members of the Administration and Health Department have been working tirelessly through the pandemic.

    Please be very careful and don’t allow this to become about politics with the Administration – this must be a team effort, aimed at getting everyone vaccinated, asap!

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