Mayor Tom Barrett: 'If bars want to screw this up, there's going to be problems'

Mayor Tom Barrett: ’If bars want to screw this up, there’s going to be problems’

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued a warning to the city's bars to get their acts together.

"If the bars want to screw this up, then there's going to be problems," said Barrett during Tuesday's twice a week city/county coronavirus press call.

The mayor noted he's very worried about the increased COVID-19 case counts across the state.

He's also seeing a worrying trend in Milwaukee.

The number of people who've gone to the hospital with COVID-19 locally has tripled in the last three weeks.

Barrett said he drives around and looks at bars across the city. He said what he's seen are employees and customers being unsafe.

If the city receives a complaint related to any business, it will follow a standard process to respond.

First, the city will call the business. Second, it can issue a citation. Third, it could choose to go after a business' license.

Barrett said the city could drop the hammer and start revoking bar safety plans to cut their capacity if the situation doesn't improve.

"I want to see the bars follow these rules, and you can ruin it for yourself and you can ruin it for everybody else, if you don't take this seriously," said Barrett.

He said the city has allowed businesses with approved safety plans to have more people in their shops than what Governor Tony Evers' current safety order allows.

Barrett said bars aren't making the city's case to the governor's office any easier.

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