Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Increasing in the City

The rising rate of COVID-19 is most pronounced in the Black community.

By - Apr 23rd, 2021 05:11 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

For more than a month now cases of COVID-19 have been increasing.

A weekly report developed by epidemiologists and faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee shows that the rise in cases continues to proceed gradually, compared to previous spikes.

“We still have disease in our community. The disease has been increasing for the past five weeks,” said Darren Rausch, director of the greenfield health department.

Rausch works with the team on the weekly report, and he noted during a media briefing cases are increasing among children and adults, and that the rise in Milwaukee County is occurring mostly in the city of Milwaukee.

The transmission rate, which measures how many people, on average, will catch the virus from one confirmed case, has been above 1.0 for nearly a month. A transmission rate below 1.0 is required for community suppression of the disease.

The transmission rate in Milwaukee County, like the rise in cases, is being driven by the city of Milwaukee. The suburbs currently have a flat transmission rate holding below 1.0.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 is currently dropping. This past week it was 5% for the county, the week before it was 5.7%.

Like other metrics, the city has the higher positivity rate at 5.7%, while the suburbs were at 4% this past week.

Looking at the demographics of the disease, Rausch noted that the current rate of change is highest among the Black community. Recently, the incidence rate of COVID-19 among Black residents surpassed white residents.

“It’s hard to say specifically what’s happening in that community,” Rausch said, adding that they will continue to monitor the data.

The Black community also has the second highest rate of hospitalization in the county. American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN), Hispanic and Asian residents have higher rates of disease. AIAN residents have the highest rate of hospitalization and death.

Rausch said all this demonstrates “that disparity that we’ve seen for a long time.”

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

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Categories: Health

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