In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Stay-at-Home order by Governor Tony Evers, the City of Milwaukee Health Department created a new order on May 14 that prioritizes the health and safety of their residents.

These order was created based on recommendations from public health officials. In preparation for reopening, public health officials are working with local business owners to establish guidelines and safety measures that build the trust of patrons and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“Everybody’s goal is to reopen the economy. But, we have seen what has happened in other parts of this country and we have seen what has happened in other parts of the world, where you have had a rush to reopen things,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “What you ended up with was more death and more suffering. And, that is exactly what we want to avoid.”

COVID-19 is present in every municipality across Milwaukee County, and public health experts warn that additional surges in cases, hospitalizations and deaths are a reality moving forward. Social distancing has been a necessary step in allowing health care systems to build capacity, increase testing and tracing ability and develop a plan for moving forward.

In developing the local plan, Moving Milwaukee Forward, health officials considered the following criteria: rate of spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin; the health care capacity to meet the needs of the state; the testing, contact tracing, and isolation capacity in the state; the availability of personal protective equipment for health care workers, first responders, and other public servants that are required to perform face-to-face services; and the economic needs of Wisconsin and Wisconsinites.

Area residents are encouraged to remain diligent in following guidelines to decrease the spread of COVID-19: staying home with family, wash hands and surfaces often, keep six feet or more away from others in public spaces, not meet in groups of any size and cover your nose and mouth with a mask or cloth.

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.
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 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