Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Local COVID-19 Curve Flattening Among Adults

Meanwhile, cases continue to rise among children, particularly in the city.

By - Apr 30th, 2021 07:44 am
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

After slowly rising for more than a month, daily new cases of COVID-19 are starting to level off and hold steady in Milwaukee County.

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 on a weekly report tracking COVID-19 locally. He said the most recent data points to a “plateau” in disease for adults. Overall, the county is “seeing some favorable trends,” Rausch said.

However, disease is still rising among children in the city of Milwaukee, according to the data. In the suburbs, the disease is flattening off. Children 16 and young are still ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The increase has been most notable among children between the ages of 15 and 17. The disease has also increased more rapidly among Black children in the county than other racial or ethnic groups, reflecting disparities in the disease present since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the effects of the vaccine, even before widespread immunity is achieved are showing up in the data. Deaths are at an all time low, likely due to the high level of vaccination among those 65 and older, who are most vulnerable to poor outcomes from COVID-19.

The transmission rate, which measures on average how many people will contract COVID-19 from a single confirmed cases, is below 1.0 countywide for the first time in weeks. This indicates community suppression of the disease. 

The positivity rate, which measures what percentage of tests come back positive for COVID-19 is dropping. This past week it was 4.4%. The week before it was 5%.

The number of people getting tested has been rising in recent weeks, which is probably related to the increased transmission, Rausch noted.

There has been a sharp increase in the rate of hospitalization among Black residents in the county recently, according to the data in the weekly report. They now have the highest rate in the county, surpassing that of American Indian and Alaskan native residents, who currently have the highest rate of death.

Hispanic residents still have the highest rate of COVID-19 in the county, and white residents have the most cumulative cases.

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

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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