City of Milwaukee considers raising non-compliance fines for bars, restaurants

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he's thinking of reevaluating fines for bars and restaurants that continue to break the rules.

Milwaukee Interim Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson says they have teams do site checks for compliance during the week and on weekends. 

This past Halloween weekend, she says some bars were found not following the rules. 

Commissioner Jackson says for now, the health department continues to have enough staff to check establishments in the city.

An update on what businesses received citations is expected to be released on Nov. 13. 

She stressed the importance of avoiding gatherings, big or small, as case numbers continue to climb. 

County health officials say the trends continue in the wrong direction -- the seven-day average of new positive cases per day now sits above 600 for the county. 

In the last two weeks, Milwaukee County has seen more than 7,800 new cases. 

Mayor Barrett says they're going to continue evaluating where fines are set at to determine whether it's enough of a deterrent for bars and restaurants who continue to not follow the rules.

"We're hearing reports that some establishments might decide that fines are worth it," Mayor Barrett said. "Again, as the commissioner has repeatedly said, our whole plan is not to be punitive, it's to be really proactive in trying to make this a healthier city."

In the update, health officials also pointed out the situation at area hospitals. They say while there are beds still available, no hospital will be able to keep up if the trend continues the wrong way.

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