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Reopening Milwaukee will only be successful if we work together to keep our community safe

Members of the Milwaukee Common Council released a statement on May 22 about the city’s effort to relax its stay at home policy with the new “Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely” order. The authors included Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, and Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd.

COVID-19 is a deadly virus for which there is currently no vaccine, and across the nation cities are struggling with how best to reopen their economies while protecting the health and welfare of their residents, and Milwaukee is no different.

Over the past several weeks we each have known people infected, impacted or who have died from COVID-19. The infection rate and spread remain high, and last weekend the City of Milwaukee had a spike of positive cases of the coronavirus, and we have increased by some 530 positive cases in the past day or two. Though progress is being made there is obviously more work that needs to be done battling this virus, and testing is a crucial part of keeping more in the community from being impacted.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue next week Monday through Saturday on the south side at 2701 S. Chase Ave. (UMOS). The hours at that site will remain 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

NOTHING is more important than your health and the health of your loved ones during the pandemic, and we urge everyone to continue taking precautions (wearing a face mask, washing hands, social distancing and staying home if possible) and following the Milwaukee Health Department’s new Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely (MMFS) order.

Under MMFS:

  • All businesses are allowed to be open to some degree.
  • Safe business practices now state that locations can have up to 25% or the total established occupancy limit or 1 person for every 30 square feet.
  • Gyms are now allowed to be open with a capacity limit of 10 – location specific not per room.
  • Faith based congregating is still limited to 10 people per location.

The pandemic (and the Safer-at-Home order) has caused significant losses and difficulties for local businesses, and we urge businesses to explore possible resources and programs for assistance. The City of Milwaukee has launched the Milwaukee Business Restart program website where you can find out how the Milwaukee Restart program uses federal relief funds to assist established Milwaukee businesses as they recover from COVID-19-related setbacks. The website can be accessed by searching city.milwaukee.gov/restart.

Working collaboratively with the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation, city government will provide grants to businesses so that they can restock perishable inventory, purchase personal protective equipment, and accommodate social distancing guidance. The program is targeted at small businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis as the city works to support the restart of neighborhood businesses in all parts of Milwaukee.

The city anticipates disbursing grants in the coming weeks and will accept applications from eligible businesses between May 28 and June 12. Businesses are encouraged to visit the website for more details and to prepare materials that will be needed to complete their application.

Remember to keep staying and being safe and that we are all in this together.

© Photo

Lee Matz

The Milwaukee Independent began reporting on what was then referred to as the mysterious “Wuhan Virus” in January. 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 months, we have published more than 450 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.
For medical resources, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. All editorial content published by Milwaukee Independent can be found at mkeind.com/COVID19. With a mission of transformative journalism, our staff is free from commercial bias and are not influenced by corporate interests, political affiliations, or a public preferences that rewards clicks with revenue. As an influential publication that provides Milwaukee with quality journalism, our award-winning photojournalism and features have helped to achieve a range of positive social impact that enriches our community. Please join our effort by entrusting us with your contribution. Your Support Matters - Donate Now

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