Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II issued a public statement on March 26 that Milwaukee residents must take the coronavirus Stay-at-Home order seriously, or face the severe consequences.

The deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading fast among Milwaukee’s African American population, and it has already claimed the lives of several African American men here. But those deaths – and a strict citywide Stay-at-Home order – don’t seem to be getting the attention of enough people in the community.

The coronavirus pandemic is deadly serious, and all Milwaukee residents need to start getting the message immediately!

In fact, Milwaukee Police have indicated that they will begin enforcing the Stay-at-Home order where needed, especially when they see people congregating and conducting “business as usual” in violation of the order. MPD reports that problems with compliance have been especially bad on the north side, and even in 15th District.

To be clear, on Monday, March 23, Milwaukee’s Health Commissioner issued the Stay-at-Home order, imposing a city-wide requirement to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order took effect early yesterday and will continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.

During the Stay-at-Home order, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for a few limited purposes. Nothing in the order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit.

All travel, including, but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit – except essential travel and essential activities as defined in the order – is prohibited. People riding on public transit – especially MCTS buses – must comply with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent feasible.

People are allowed to leave their homes to engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as (by way of example only and without limitation) obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.

Residents may also leave their home to obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of their home.

People are allowed to engage in outdoor activity, provided they practice social distancing, and this can include walking, running or hiking. Games of basketball (and soccer) should be avoided because of the physical contact involved, and ALL playgrounds are closed and must be avoided to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

People are allowed to leave home to perform work providing essential products and services (as defined in the order) and to care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by the order.

Lastly, residents will be allowed to travel to the polls to vote in the spring election on April 7 – or to work at polling locations or to count ballots. To avoid the need to go to a polling location, residents may still request an absentee ballot online at or by calling 414-286-VOTE.

COVID-19 is highly transmissible and is 10 times deadlier than the seasonal influenza! NO ONE is immune and there is no vaccine, and it can be especially deadly for those with underlying medical conditions and issues such as asthma, diabetes, heart and pulmonary disease, cancer patients and anyone 65 or older.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for everyone to immediately stay home and comply with the Stay-at-Home order so we can stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect the health of the community.

Russell W. Stamper, II

Lee Matz

The Milwaukee Independent began reporting on what was then referred to as the mysterious “Wuhan Virus” in January 2020. Other local media did not picked-up on the story until many weeks later. Our early features focused on the economic impact, social issues, and health concerns long before other Milwaukee news organizations even mentioned the coronavirus. Over the following year, we have published hundreds of articles about the pandemic and how it has affected the lives of Milwaukee residents. This extensive body of work can be found on our COVID-19 Special Report page, a chronological index of links by month. Our editorial voice remains dedicated to informing the public about this health crisis for as long as it persists.
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