Graham Kilmer

40 COVID-19 Cases in Milwaukee County

Up 67% since yesterday. Abele favors moving back the spring election.

By - Mar 17th, 2020 05:25 pm
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A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a patient in the U.S. diagnosed with COVID-19. Image from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Rocky Mountain Laboratories (CC BY 2.0).

A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a patient in the U.S. diagnosed with COVID-19. Image from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Rocky Mountain Laboratories (CC BY 2.0).

Officials announced Tuesday that there are currently 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County and 13 in the City of Milwaukee.

This is a 67.5 percent increase from the number of cases in the county announced at roughly the same time Monday. It is also a 40 percent increase from the numbers the State Department of Health Services announced at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Government and health officials are working right now to identify areas of Milwaukee where they can conduct remote testing, to increase the testing capacity of the area, said Dr. Ben Weston, director of health services for Milwaukee County. Weston said area residents need to improve their social distancing and any businesses that can have employees work from home need to do so.

There were 72 confirmed cases in Wisconsin, as of 2 p.m. this afternoon. There is also a statewide order right now asking people to keep essential gatherings to no more than 10 people.

There are no plans to change the date of the spring general election on April 7, which is three weeks away. Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy, Chair of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council, said every municipality in the county has the ability to conduct elections entirely through the mail. He urged residents to request absentee ballots. Some municipal governments are very small, Kennedy noted, and infecting one person in a small municipal government could lead to the entire government shutting down.

County Executive Chris Abele said he would support pushing the date of the spring election back. “Moving a date back on an election isn’t going to kill anybody,” Abele said, adding that keeping the election date might. He said creating an environment where thousands of people are congregating, at a time when officials expect the number of cases to be much higher than they are now, would be dangerous. “I’d rather push back the date and have people be safe,” Abele said. However, it is up to the state to make that decision.

Abele said the numbers right now are scary, but he expects they will be scarier at the time of the election.

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Categories: Health, MKE County, Politics

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