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Milwaukee council unanimously approves mandatory masks in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Milwaukee Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel throws batting practice with a mask during a practice session Monday, July 6, 2020, at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel throws batting practice with a mask during a practice session Monday, July 6, 2020, at Miller Park in Milwaukee. (Morry Gash/AP)

MILWAUKEE — Wearing a face covering to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will be mandatory in Milwaukee under an ordinance approved Monday by the city council.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the council also unanimously adopted a separate proposal to provide free masks to city residents.

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Anyone age 3 and older would have to wear a face-covering in buildings open to the public, as well as any outdoor public space when it’s not possible to stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from people who aren’t in the same household. There are exceptions for medical conditions or religious reasons.

The ordinance says the Milwaukee Health Department should fine businesses that don’t comply, but it doesn’t specify how outdoor spaces will be enforced.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has said he would sign the ordinance.

An order requiring masks indoors in Dane County, which includes the state capital of Madison, took effect on Monday.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he was considering at a statewide mask mandate, but after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down his “safer at home” order in May, a new one requiring masks to be worn is “unlikely.”

Wisconsin’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing since mid-June, breaking records for three straight days last week.

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