COVID-19 Testing Down Significantly
Officials worry about drop in testing here as COVID-19 cases spike across the nation.
Testing, a critical component in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, is trending down in Milwaukee.
Last week, the two community testing sites on the north and south sides of the City of Milwaukee reported numbers that they administered 3,570 tests. Mayor Tom Barrett said this was “down significantly” from what the city saw in prior weeks.
Elected and public health officials believe the drop off in testing can be attributed to a number of things, including the weather getting warmer and the protests against the killing of George Floyd and police brutality that have been ongoing in Milwaukee for more than two weeks.
This drop in testing is a cause for concern, as local officials are watching other parts of the country and seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases occurring “at alarming rates,” as Crowley put it. Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for Milwaukee County, said “the virus is certainly not gone and will likely increase at some time in the future.”
Mayor Tom Barrett once again urged that people feeling “any symptoms whatsoever” go get tested. City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik noted that the community testing sites offer testing to asymptomatic individuals. And on top of that, she said the symptom list for potential COVID-19 cases has been expanded to include “many things that you have day to day.”
As the City of Milwaukee moves through phased reopening it continues to track the status of key metrics, like testing, and assigns them values of red, yellow and green, to indicate whether they are meeting the thresholds necessary to move on to the next phase. Once it moves onto a new phase, it waits one incubation period, or 14 days, to monitor those metrics before it moves on
“If there’s any red during that time period then that means we can’t move… Unfortunately early last week we had red for testing, and that obviously is a concern,” Kowalik said. The city is currently in phase three.
And for those that have already been tested, Kowalik said you should not consider yourself in the clear. “It’s not like getting tested once,” she said. “Testing should be ongoing depending on your level of risk.”
Especially if you are an essential worker, Kowalik said. And with the expanded list of symptoms, she said, “even if it’s like a scratchy throat, a sore throat, go get tested.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported numbers, announced at a press conference Tuesday, for COVID-19 testing conducted the previous week that were later revealed to be inaccurate. The story has been corrected to include the accurate numbers.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- MKE County: COVID-19 Disease Burden Remains Stable - Graham Kilmer - Nov 25th, 2022
- MKE County: Wastewater Data Shows COVID-19 Uptick - Graham Kilmer - Nov 18th, 2022
- City of Milwaukee Bi-Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Nov 11th, 2022
- DHS Launches Free Telehealth Service for COVID-19 Treatment - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Nov 2nd, 2022
- City of Milwaukee Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Oct 28th, 2022
- New COVID-19 Boosters Available for Children - Graham Kilmer - Oct 25th, 2022
- MKE County: Rising New COVID-19 Variants A Concern - Graham Kilmer - Oct 22nd, 2022
- MKE County: COVID-19 Increasing In Milwaukee - Graham Kilmer - Oct 14th, 2022
- City of Milwaukee Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Oct 14th, 2022
- Widespread Immunity Key To Fighting Next COVID-19 Variant - Graham Kilmer - Oct 13th, 2022
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here