Beginning today, masks are required on all Milwaukee County Transit System buses. Again. The news comes two weeks after MCTS dropped its previous mask requirement. And yeah, let’s be honest, no one had been following that mask requirement for a looooong time.

The reinstatement is tied to Milwaukee County moving back into the “Medium COVID-19 Community Level,” per the Milwaukee Health Department.

“In partnership with Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will require everyone to wear masks on County buses starting today,” reads an MCTS press release. “Milwaukee County and MCTS will continue to provide guidance as COVID-19 rates remain fluid. MCTS supplies masks on buses and asks riders to practice safe riding habits and respect fellow passengers.”

At least the two-week flip-flop is better than that day in April 2022, when MCTS dropped its mask requirement in the morning and reinstated it later that afternoon.

In other transit system news, “Transit System Will Continue to Shrink.”

Anyway, here’s the Health Department press release on the whole “moving back to medium” thing:

MILWAUKEE – This week, Milwaukee County moved back into the Medium COVID-19 Community Level, based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. This level is determined by three metrics: new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.

In Milwaukee County, the case rate per 100,000 population is 121.6. This includes the city of Milwaukee’s rate of 97.6 per 100,000. There have been 12.5 new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population and 4% of staffed inpatient beds are in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19. Additional metrics, such as case burden and percent positivity, are accessible on MHD’s COVID-19 data dashboards.

On Wednesday, October 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the updated Moderna and Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines for children ages 5 through 11, which was followed by a recommendation from the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Updated booster doses for this age group will be available next week at all Milwaukee Health Department immunization clinics upon receipt of shipment. More information will be shared via Milwaukee Health Department website and social media once details are confirmed.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services kicked off Vaccination Weeks of Action to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated. Currently, 65.5% of city of Milwaukee adults 16 years and older are fully vaccinated, and 35.4% of city of Milwaukee adults 16 years and older have received at least one booster dose. Whether you a primary dose or updated booster dose, the COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against contracting and spreading the virus.

“As Milwaukee heads into colder weather, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated and make smart, responsible health and safety choices,” said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. “Set a deadline to get your updated COVID-19 booster and flu shot before Halloween to ensure you’re fully protected in time for the holidays. Stay home and test when you’re feeling sick so you don’t inadvertently infect others. And wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask, especially when you’re in crowded, public, indoor spaces.”

The Milwaukee Health Department is seeking feedback from Milwaukee residents to help identify gaps in access to health resources such as COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccinations. The purpose of the questionnaire is to get a feel for community members’ lived experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding that there is no one shared experience within our city. All responses are anonymous. No personal identifiers are recorded, so they cannot and will not be reported. The questionnaire should take fewer than five minutes to complete. Any interested participants are encouraged to take the survey at

Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.


No more mask requirement for MCTS buses (UPDATE: Oops, masks are required again)

• The night an MCTS driver saved my life (maybe)

• Former MCTS spokesman Mr. Sulu loved public transit so much he wouldn’t appear in the ‘Simpsons’ monorail episode

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

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