As cases plummet, Milwaukee's mask mandate could end sooner than March 1

NOW: As cases plummet, Milwaukee’s mask mandate could end sooner than March 1

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's mask mandate could potentially soon come to an end as cases continue to go down across the county.

The mandate is set to expire March 1. Dr. Ben Weston with Milwaukee County said COVID numbers are plummeting and he expects them to only get lower in the coming weeks.

"They're dropping rapidly, so certainly I think it's time to start having the discussions," Dr. Weston said. "We are seeing declines in cases, in positivity, in hospitalizations."

The county still remains in the extreme transmission category for infections, but Dr. Weston thinks we are starting to see the end of the original omicron variant.

"A big part of it is very clearly immunity. Vaccine-derived immunity as well as infection-induced immunity," he said.

Because we are trending in the right direction, Dr. Weston said it may be time to rethink mask mandates. He said schools can also start thinking about removing them as well, as long as districts make an informed decision based on transmission and numbers.

"Allowing politics, fatigue or loud voices to influence that process can be full of risk and dangerous to the community," Dr. Weston said.

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson said removing the mandate would only come if it was recommended by health experts.

"As our trends continue downward, I think the Common Council, as well as the health department, will be in contact if it is appropriate to remove it. And if that determination is made, then I'm happy to review that when it comes to my desk," Mayor Johnson said.

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