Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Trends Stable in Milwaukee

Cases and transmission have plateaued at the lowest levels since summer 2020.

By - Mar 19th, 2021 01:46 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

The level of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County remains stable at its lowest since late summer 2020.

Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, works with a team of epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee to track COVID-19 locally. Their latest report shows that disease trends in recent weeks continue.

“The numbers remain flat,” Rausch said Thursday. The “plateau” that began a few weeks ago continues.

Deaths have fallen dramatically, though they haven’t ceased altogether. The county is now averaging one or zero deaths a day, Rausch said. This decline in deaths is likely due to the widespread vaccination of Milwaukee area seniors, he said, who have had the highest rates of hospitalization and death throughout the pandemic.

The transmission rate in Milwaukee county continues to hold at a level indicating the community is suppressing the disease. The transmission rate remains below 1.0, which means that for every new case of COVID-19 that person will, on average, transmit it to less than one other person.

The rate in the city is approximately .85, he said, which is roughly the same as the county at large. The suburbs, however, were inching closer to 1.0 during the past week.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19, shows a continuing trend of dropping positivity. Two weeks ago it was 3.8%, this past week it was 3.2%.

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, white people have the most cumulative cases and Black residents continue to have a disproportionately high number of hospitalizations. 

In recent weeks the deaths and hospitalizations among American Indian and Alaskan Native residents spiked in the county, and they now have the highest rates for both.

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

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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