Wisconsin News Briefs

Mask Mandate to Remain in Effect for Milwaukee County Transit System

MILWAUKEE, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System will continue to require riders to wear masks on County buses. The decision comes out of an abundance of caution as COVID19cases have increased locally over the past three weeks.  Some of the most vulnerable, high-risk residents rely on our buses to travel throughout the County each day. We are still in the midst of pandemic, and it is incumbent upon local leaders to do our part to keep residents safe and stop the spread of the disease,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

Milwaukee Public Schools Returns to Mandatory Mask Mandate for Students and Staff All district buildings will return to mask-wearing

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools has announced that masks will be mandatory for students and staff in all district buildings. The policy will take effect Wednesday, April 20, 2022. The decision was made after determining a significant transmission of the virus within the city of Milwaukee.

The mask policy is in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The district has the option to revert back to a mask-optional policy if it is determined that there is not a significant risk of virus transmission within the city of Milwaukee and/or the school district. Masks will continue to be available for students and staff in all district buildings.

District procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 will continue, including access to testing. Staff and students are currently encouraged to take the following steps to stay safe and healthy:

Practice physical distancing.

Get vaccinated and boosted.

Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.

Follow quarantine and isolation practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Sanitize surfaces often.  Maintain use of HEPA filtration units and change filters as needed.

The district encourages families to watch for communications from their child’s school and the district on changing conditions.

Study: Liquid brine clears Wisconsin highways faster

Data shows crews clearing roads fast and effectively while using less salt

As we move into spring in Wisconsin, a recent report released by the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Lab found use of liquid brine in winter highway maintenance cleared Wisconsin highways faster, provided better friction on roadways and reduced overall salt usage.

Researchers looked at data from 143 storms occurring in 10 counties across Wisconsin. It compared brine-cleared routes to those nearby cleared with a traditional granular rock-salt method. The data showed that brine-treated roads were:

Clear (bare/wet condition) more than two hours faster on average.

More likely to show a higher friction rating.

More efficient with material – reducing salt use on average by 23%.

“With salt costs continuing to rise, it’s imperative we work together to optimize supplies and deliver the most safe and effective service possible for the taxpayer,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Liquid brine is a great example of how we strive to implement sustainable and earth-friendly alternatives during winter highway maintenance. We applaud county highway departments across the state for using liquid brine to maintain and clear Wisconsin roadways faster.”

Liquid brine is a simple mixture of salt and water used to clear winter roads. All Wisconsin counties track some use of liquid brine, and many began to incorporate salt brine decades ago. Brine is being used in several ways throughout Wisconsin, and each helps to optimize use of salt in fighting winter storms.