Graham Kilmer

COVID-19 Metrics Trending Positively in Milwaukee County

But cases surging among teenagers and young adults.

By - Jun 18th, 2020 05:06 pm
2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just over 15 weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in Milwaukee County and a number of the metrics tracking the disease appear to be trending in the right direction.

Key data points like the transmission rate, doubling time and the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus are all showing a positive trend in recent weeks. But despite the positive trends, the disease is still everywhere in Milwaukee County, and transmission is still occurring.

Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, is working with a team of epidemiologists from the Medical College of Wisconsin to track the disease. He said the data this week “shows the disease is still circulating in Milwaukee County. We still have nearly 100 cases of disease identified every day in Milwaukee County.” Rausch briefs the media on the latest findings every Thursday.

Between June 10th and June 16th there were 545 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the county and eight confirmed deaths. 

The percentage of tests that result in a positive case has fallen over the past three weeks according to the epidemiological team’s latest report. Over the last seven days the rate has averaged eight percent, which is lower than the 14 percent average for the whole pandemic. The statewide average for the past week is under three percent.

Another positive trend is the transmission rate in Milwaukee County, which has remained below 1.0 for the past three weeks. That number “indicates that we’re suppressing that outbreak, so it’s very good to see that each positive case of COVID is infecting less than one additional person in our community,” Rausch said.

And the doubling time for COVID-19, which measures how long it takes the number of cases to double also continues to increase in Milwaukee County, and is substantially ahead of both statewide doubling times and the surrounding WOW counties of Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties.

The doubling time is approximately 49 days in Milwaukee County versus 26 days in the WOW counties and 28 days statewide.

While older and elderly populations continue to have the highest rates of hospitalization and deaths, young people have the highest cumulative rate of cases of COVID-19. County residents ages 18 to 38 and children below the age of 18 have seen both their cumulative case counts and incidence rates among their age groups skyrocket since the middle of May. Residents aged 18 to 39 now have the highest cumulative case rate in the county by a wide margin.

A full copy of the report is available on our website.

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Categories: Health

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