Milwaukee mask mandate to expire March 1

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- People in Milwaukee will no longer be required to wear masks at the beginning of March.

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson said he will let the citywide mask mandate expire on March 1 as scheduled.

"If the health [leaders] in our community feel that it's appropriate for the mask mandate to expire, then I'm going to follow that advice," Johnson told reporters on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

County health officials have good news when it comes to COVID-19 trends.

"Our trends continue to decline very nicely. Our positivity is finally nearing 5%, and we'll likely cross that important threshold in the next week," said Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County.

Weston said COVID-19 mitigation strategies are top of mind for health leaders.

"We won't have mitigation measures forever. We're not going to be wearing masks in public forever. We're not going to be distancing in public forever," Weston said.

The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department announced Tuesday that it will cease contact tracing efforts for those who test positive for COVID-19. Health officials said they will still provide support in the event of outbreaks at long-term care facilities, schools and businesses. The department is still encouraging people to follow quarantine guidelines, get tested and get vaccinated. 

Weston credits those mitigation strategies for the current positive trends statewide.

"We are in a different place now than we've been in the past, and much of that is due to the availability of the vaccine and the booster," Weston said.

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