Re-Opening West Milwaukee after COVID-19

On May 19, the West Allis Health Department issued guidelines for businesses and organizations to assist them with safe re-opening. The goal is to provide guidance to support a measured approach to resume business, retail and commercial operations. In reviewing the key measures, the indicators show promising trends. With all indicators on the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management dashboard now either green or yellow, the Suburban Milwaukee County Health Department’s recommendations for safe gathering and re-opening have moved to Phase C starting June 12, 2020.

What does Phase C mean for West Allis and West Milwaukee?

Read the re-opening guidelines (PDF). This includes incremental capacity increases for all business sectors. Additionally, mass gathering should be limited to be at 50 people or fewer at this time. Examples of large events and gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.

How should I re-open or resume types of activities?

Businesses should only move through the phases of this guideline when they feel confident they can protect the health and safety of their staff and customers at each level. Businesses and organizations are reminded to use the guidance resources already available on the City of West Allis website.

What precautions can I continue to take?

The threat of COVID-19 is still very much alive in West Allis and throughout Southeast Wisconsin. It is up to each of us to play our part in protecting ourselves, our families, our customers, and our community moving forward. It is strongly recommended that individuals continue to follow physical distancing and protective measures.

What if I’m part of a vulnerable population?

All individuals, especially those in vulnerable populations, are discouraged from unnecessary gatherings and travel at this time due to the likelihood of an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Business Resources

Individual Resources

Personal protective measures for us all

  • Consult your primary doctor if you have symptoms of the coronavirus or think you may have been exposed
  • Maintain physical distancing between people not residing in your household
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands)
  • Regular cleaning high-touch surfaces
  • Don’t shake hands

Safe Opening Signage

Safe Opening Guidelines


Current Order – Expires Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
Suburban health departments in Milwaukee County are in alignment with moving to the next phase of their reopening plans as Order #1 issued on Thursday, May 14 is set to expire at 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 21, 2020. This next phase allows all remaining businesses in the 18 suburban municipalities to open, if they choose to, utilizing the “Suburban Milwaukee County Safe Opening Capacity Guidance” chart that will be available on local health department websites. Businesses are also instructed to adhere to CDC and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s safe business practices and physical distancing and protective measures for staff and patrons. 

In preparation for this next phase of the reopening beginning on Friday, May 22, local health departments are communicating with businesses throughout their communities to share best practices and guidance about how they can reopen and operate safely. Many businesses will likely change the way they operate to provide physical distancing between patrons, increased attention to sanitation, and more changes designed to minimize the transmission of COVID‐19. Health departments are diligently working with business leaders to ensure they have what they need to reopen in a manner that is consistent with the recommended guidance.

Public health leaders have carefully tracked key indicators to guide the safe reopening across the city, county and state. Businesses should contact the West Allis Health Department for guidelines to help reopen your business. You can view the website here .  

Resources for Reopening
Suburban Milwaukee County Safe Opening Capacity Guidance Chart
Milwaukee County of Emergency Management dashboard
WEDC Reopen Guidelines

The only way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to remain voluntarily closed. However, if you choose to open your business Friday, we recommend the following guidelines to help reduce the risk of coronavirus infection for you, your employees, and your customers.
Recommended Phase B Guidelines – Effective May 22, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. – midnight
Effective 12:00am, May 22, 2020, we recommend complying with the following guidelines:
 Operate at no more than 50% capacity
 Follow the physical/social distancing practice of keeping 6 feet away from others as much as possible
 Wear a face mask when possible and wash or sanitize hands regularly

You are asked to use the following guidelines if/as you plan to reopen: WEDC’s website for specific guidelines, FDA Best Practices for Reopening Retail Food Establishments during COVID-19 Pandemic, and any other best practices put out by your business associations.

Although these guidelines are not mandatory, everyone should play a part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Key indicator data such as health care capacity, total tests performed, contact tracing and isolation capacity, and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue to be monitored. If
data show the virus is spreading too fast than our medical infrastructure can handle, a new order may be required. It is in all of our best interest to assure businesses reopen in a manner that helps to reduce risk. We at the health department appreciate your cooperation in complying with these guidelines for the safety of your employees, patrons, and general public. If you have any questions, please contact our Environmental Health Specialists by calling 414-302-8600.


On May 13th, following the Supreme Court decision to overrule Governor Tony Evers’ coronavirus stay-at-home order, 18 municipalities in suburban Milwaukee County and their 10 public health officials came together to sign a local order that provides guidelines on how local businesses can move forward in the coming days. The order lasts through May 21st. 

From the order:

Based on the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision today, May 13, 2020, the local health departments in suburban Milwaukee County are issuing this order to continue controlling COVID-19 disease transmission throughout Milwaukee County. This plan outlines the measures needed now in Milwaukee County based on the above factors. Recognizing that Milwaukee County has made great progress in flattening the curve, we focus on the importance of continuation and resumption of businesses and activities for sectors of our economy that are able to operate with Physical Distancing and Protective Measure Requirements and Safe Business Practices in place. Future decisions will be based on the COVID-19 data for the county and upcoming orders will necessarily remain fluid and will be based on the above factors as well as emerging data and research.

Here are the highlights of this order:

  • All public and private gatherings are allowed up to ten (10) people.
  • Rummage/yard sales are prohibited.
  • Churches may open under certain conditions.
  • Retail establishments, including indoor malls, can open under certain conditions.
  • Restaurants and bars remain carry-out and delivery only. No food or beverages should be consumed on the premises. Delivery of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Salons and spas can open under certain conditions and supporting physical distancing requirements.
  • Playgrounds can open so long as users practice physical distancing and protective measure requirements.
  • Libraries remain closed but can offer curbside pick-up.
    • The West Allis Public Library is offering curbside pick-up.
  • Whether indoors or outdoors, places of public amusement and activity remain closed.
    • Includes, but not limited to, conference centers, stadiums, dance clubs, escape rooms, carnivals, water parks, licensed public or private swimming pools, splash pads, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concerts and concert halls, country clubs, social clubs, miniature golf, and gyms and fitness centers. 

For more information, please see the COVID-19 Public Health Plan Final Order (May 13, 2020).

For additional highlights on the public health plan, please see this link

Re-Opening West Milwaukee after COVID-19