The City of Milwaukee will receive a new health order on Thursday, March 18. It will be the city’s first new health order since February 5.

“Next week on Thursday, March 18, we will be issuing a new health order,” said Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Kirsten Johnson during a media briefing on Tuesday. Further specifics were not discussed, though the order is being described as “comprehensive.”

“We are seeing a downward trend in the number of cases, and our test positivity rate has improved significantly,” Johnson said. “It is going to be a comprehensive order. We are also looking at adding a burden metric to align more closely with the CDC, so it will address all different businesses that have previously been addressed in the order. It will be available next Thursday.”

Milwaukee’s current health order—Order #4.4—took effect on February 5. Among other things, it permits indoor gatherings of up to 250 people, allows for limited reopening of museums and other public exhibition spaces, and eliminates the need for COVID-19 testing for team and contact sports. Since February, numerous Milwaukee museums have reopened with enhanced safety features, and both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Milwaukee Brewers have announced limited in-person attendance for games.

Bars and restaurants with approved COVID safety plans have been allowed to be at full capacity under the city’s current health order. Bars and restaurants without approved COVID safety plans have been capped at 25% capacity.

“Currently under our orders, restaurants, as long as they have filed and have a safety plan that was reviewed by the health department, do not have capacity restrictions,” Johnson said.

So there you go! Look for the specifics on the new health order next week Thursday. And oh yeah: If you’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and you still need to get one, you can find a map of Wisconsin providers HERE.

[The above picture of The Wicked Hop was taken in January 2020, a.k.a. pre-pandemic times.]

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.