Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Cases Not Rising, Not Falling

The plateau in new disease continues, but key indicators show the community headed in the right direction.

By - Mar 12th, 2021 06:49 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

The COVID-19 plateau is continuing in Milwaukee County.

After months of dropping case counts, last week the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County flattened off. Fortunately, disease is not rising, and key indicators show the trends are heading in a positive direction.

“So there’s a lot of really good things to be happy about and proud about when it comes to COVID cases in Milwaukee County,” said Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department.

Rausch works with a team of epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee to produce a weekly report tracking COVID-19 locally.

Their latest report shows that the daily case rate continues to remain flat. Importantly, the transmission rate is trending down from a slight spike in recently weeks.

The current transmission rate is below 1.0, which means that for each new case of COVID-19 in the county, that person will transmit the disease, on average, to less than one other person. This rate is an important indicator that the disease is being suppressed by the community.

The report last week showed the latest data on transmission recorded a slight spike above 1.0. “Which was concerning,” Rausch said, “meaning that we could have a potential for a spike in cases.”

Another key indicator that continues to trend in a direction that is good for the community is the positivity rate, which measures what percentage of tests come back positive for COVID-19 in a given week. This past week, the positivity rate was 2.8%. The same as it was the week prior.

These are some of the lowest positivity rates the county has seen throughout the entire pandemic. However, testing is low and continues to decline week over week. Public health officials urge the public to seek out COVID-19 testing if they need it.

Deaths from COVID-19 have declined greatly. There were three deaths reported in the county during the past week.

Demographically, the disease continues to affect the county the same way it has in recent months. Young people aged 25 to 39 still have the most cases and have the highest rate of disease. Hispanic people have the highest rate of COVID-19 and white people have the most cumulative cases. Black residents continue to have a disproportionately high number of hospitalizations. The rate of deaths and hospitalizations continues to be the highest among American Indian and Alaskan Native residents in the county.

It’s been a year since the first case of COVID-19 showed in the county, and, Rausch said, there wasn’t an area of the county that was spared.

In a year, the county saw 97,893 cases of COVID-19, 5,917 hospitalizations and 1259 deaths.

Read the weekly report here. Read the children’s report here.

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Categories: Health

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