Milwaukee to move into Phase 4.1 of 'Forward Safely' plan amid pandemic

Updated: 5:40 p.m. on July 31, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee restaurants and bars have been operating under Phase 4 regulations for the last couple of weeks.

We haven’t been able to move past that because of concerns over rising COVID-19 cases.

But on Friday, July 31, a new order was presented to help move forward safely.

Bars and restaurants have been operating at 50% capacity, but if they want to continue indoor dining services, Order 4.1 will require them to submit COVID health safety plans.

“Well, for us it’s been a little going up and down, some customers do agree with all the norms, some of them don’t,” said Brenda Soriano, a server at La Casa de Alberto Mexican Restaurant.

She says they’ve been working hard to make sure they’re keeping diners safe.

“Things that we have changed are the paper menus; it’s only one time use,” said Brenda. “We offer the customer plastic or regular silverware so they can feel more comfortable in what they choose. We use gloves to bring their food out, and then we throw them away right away.”

Every employee at La Casa De Alberto has already gone through special COVID-19 training to properly disinfect surfaces, eliminate the use of shared objects such as condiments or salt shakers, and limit contact.

But now with Order 4.1, restaurants and bars like them will need to take one extra step if they want to continue indoor dining.

Under the new phase, bars and restaurants will be required to submit a safety plan and complete a risk assessment tool that addresses eight key areas:
• General Information
• Workplace policies and practices to protect employee health
• Measure to ensure physical distancing
• Measure to ensure infection control
• Customer Service/Dining Areas
• Food Safety Considerations
• Facility Considerations
• Measures That Communicate to the Public
-credit to City of Milwaukee Health Department
According to the City of Milwaukee Health Department, it also includes updated language requiring face masks complying with the new city ordinance.

Restaurants we’ve spoken to say they’re ready to build on changes they’ve already made to stop the spread and keep patrons safe.

“Yes, we have to take it day by day, we just have to stay calm, we have to try to explain this is not going to be forever. It can keep you safe, your family safe, and the people around them safe,” said Soriano.

Restaurants and bars have until midnight on Sept. 15 to submit their safety plans to the city.

Next Thursday the city will host a two-hour virtual workshop to help restaurant and bar owners in writing their safety plans.

You can sign up for it here

Posted: 12:06 p.m. on July 31, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The City of Milwaukee Health Department will move into Phase 4.1 of its 'Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely' plan at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31.

According to a press release, under the new phase, restaurants and bars will be required to submit a safety plan and Risk Assessment Tool by September 16 to continue serving patrons indoors without capacity limits. Once a business has been approved, it will receive a certificate or seal from the Milwaukee Health Department indicating it may operate safely.

The health department will hold a virtual workshop to help restaurant and bar owners write the plan on August 6.

Under Phase 4.1, all schools will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity for in-person sessions with a Milwaukee Health Department-approved safety plan.

In addition, sports teams, including youth teams, can submit a safety plan to the health department for approval to play in the fall season.

More information can be found on the health department website

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