Will Bucks Celebrations Hike COVID-19 Cases?
Health officials fear a spike could come. Half of county residents are not vaccinated.
Health officials gave out 19 shots that night.
“We know people wanted to be jubilant and celebrate,” Van Dijk said during a call with media Thursday after the parade. “But we know, as I said, half the state is fully vaccinated and so half the state is not, and I assume the same applies to the people in the Deer District or in the arena. And I didn’t see half of the participants wearing a mask.”
It has been difficult to correlate a spike in COVID-19 cases with an individual event, although having 65,000 people concentrated in one space hasn’t been a common sight during the pandemic, said Dr. Ben Weston, medical director of the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.
Weston said being outside makes the likelihood of spread relatively low — for people who are fully vaccinated. But because the disease is spread through close contact, the risk level was high for unvaccinated individuals.
In Milwaukee, the COVID-19 rate this week increased to 50.7 cases per 100,000 people, a number the city hasn’t seen since early June, said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson.
“What we’re seeing right now with the increase in COVID-19 cases is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Johnson said. “The delta variant is more transmissible than previous strains of this virus, and we anticipated the prevalence of this variant in our city would create a rise in cases. This is the time for those who are unvaccinated to prioritize getting their COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
During pre-playoff game vaccination clinics in June, the Milwaukee Health Department was able to vaccinate 53 people.
“The Bucks celebrations this past week were incredible shows of pride and excitement for our city, but we know that large gatherings such as those happening in the Deer District can create an influx in positive COVID-19 cases,” Johnson said.
To find the vaccine and schedule an appointment, visit https://vaccinate.wi.gov/en-US or call 844-684-1064.
Listen to the WPR report here.
Health Officials Warn Bucks Celebrations Could Lead To Increase In COVID-19 Cases was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
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