In a June 30 letter to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Cavalier Johnson, the owners of more than 70 Milwaukee businesses are asking for the immediate declaration of a mandatory mask policy to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
“Please don’t let us become Florida or Texas,” the business leaders write.
Hundreds of cities across America have mandated the wearing of face masks in public, the letter points out, and public health officials say wearing a mask is the best way — other than staying at home — to stop the spread of COVID-19.
As infections in Wisconsin begin to rise again, now is the time for Milwaukee to implement this policy, the letter-writers argue. They point out that cities that reopened business without a mask policy, including Houston and Fort Lauderdale, saw big spikes in COVID-19 infections.
“Without a city mandate, many customers will not be willing to come to our businesses,” the business leaders write. “Compliance with requirements a business may establish will be inconsistent at best. Our employees can’t be assured of a safe work environment. And the risk is much higher for new outbreaks, which could result in new stay-at-home orders that put us out of business for good.”
The letter’s signers include the owners and operators of Fiserv Forum, Bartolotta Restaurants, Colectivo Coffee, Lowlands Group and the Pabst Theater Group, among many others.
There is also an online petition, sponsored by Change.org, that individuals can sign calling for a mask requirement in Milwaukee.