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Milwaukee City Council approves mandatory masks in public

Milwaukee City Council approves mandatory masks in public

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COVID-19 candle installation

Calena Roberts, of Milwaukee, with Service Employees International Union, helps place roughly 1,300 battery-operated candles outside the Wisconsin Capitol in April to recognize people in Wisconsin who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.

MILWAUKEE — Wearing a face covering to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus will be mandatory in Milwaukee under an ordinance approved Monday by the City Council.

The council also unanimously adopted a separate proposal to provide free masks to city residents.

Under the ordinance, anyone age 3 and older would have to wear a face covering in buildings open to the public, as well as any outdoor public space when it’s not possible to stay at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t in the same household. There are exceptions for medical conditions or religious reasons.

The ordinance says the Milwaukee Health Department should fine businesses that don’t comply, but it doesn’t specify how requiring masks in outdoor spaces will be enforced.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has said he would sign the ordinance.

An order requiring masks indoors in Dane County took effect on Monday.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has said he was considering a statewide mask mandate, but after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down his “safer at home” order in May, a new one requiring masks statewide is “unlikely.”

Wisconsin’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing since mid-June, breaking records for three straight days last week.

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