Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Children Contributing to Rising COVID-19

Particularly in the city of Milwaukee.

By - Apr 16th, 2021 04:52 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Since the middle of March Milwaukee County has experienced a gradual climb in cases of COVID-19.

This increase has been present in both the adult and children populations. But the cases among children are rising faster than among adults.

A team of epidemiologists from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee have been working on a weekly report tracking COVID-19 locally. The report shows that the spike among children in Milwaukee County is “significantly more pronounced’ in the city of Milwaukee than in the suburbs, said Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department.

“Kids have been very contributory to the increased rise in COVID cases,” Rausch said.

For the first time, the report also includes a breakdown of COVID-19 hospitalizations among children. It shows the majority of children hospitalized were between the ages of 0 and 4. It also shows that nearly 50% of all children hospitalized have been Black, reflecting the racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes that have been present since the start of the pandemic.

Among the adult population, despite signs of rising disease, deaths remain steady at low levels. The county is averaging approximately one death every other day. During the past week there were four deaths.

This, Rausch said, is likely due to the effectiveness of the vaccine and the high vaccination rates among the counties most vulnerable population — those 65 years or older.

On the other hand, one of the clearest signs that the disease level is rising is the transmission rate, which measures how many people, on average, will catch COVID-19 from a single confirmed case. Currently the transmission rate is above 1.0, where it’s been since mid March. A transmission rate below 1.0 would mean the county was suppressing the disease.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive, has held relatively steady the past two weeks. It was 5.7% this past week, and was 5.6% the week before that.

The hospitalization rate among Black county residents, which has been disproportionately high since the start of the pandemic, has been rising in recent weeks. It is now just barely behind American Indian and Alaskan native residents, who have the highest rate of hospitalization and death in the county right now.

Hispanic people continue to have the highest case rate in the county. White people continue to have the most cases of COVID-19. Young people have the most cases and the highest rates of the disease.

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

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Categories: Health

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