Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Metrics Show Disease Surging Countywide

Weekly new cases have increased eleven-fold over the past month.

By - Jul 30th, 2021 05:56 pm
2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest data on COVID-19 in Milwaukee County shows an undeniable upward trend in the disease that shows no sign of abating.

A weekly report by epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee shows that key indicators of disease burden and spread are all pointing up.

During the past week, from July 21 to the 27, there were 971 new cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County. This is an eleven-fold increase from the number of new cases four weeks ago when the county saw 89 new cases in a week.

This quick increase in weekly new cases is also being observed in children. During the past week there were 194 cases of COVID-19 among children 18 years old and younger. Four weeks ago the number of weekly new cases was 22.

During that time there were also zero deaths from COVID-19, according to the report. However, the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management’s COVID-19 dashboard shows there were two deaths; one on the 26th and another on the 27th. Deaths are a lagging indicator of disease, given the amount of time it takes for an infected person to show symptoms, then become seriously ill.

The county’s transmission rate is holding at a level higher than during the fall 2020 spike, which was the largest spike in disease thus far in the pandemic. Though the highest transmission rates the county has seen were at the very start of the pandemic in spring 2020.

The latest data shows the county has a transmission rate of 1.34. This means that every identified case of COVID-19 is likely to spread the disease, on average, to 1.34 other people.

Transmission is highest in the suburbs, where the latest seven-day transmission rate was 1.77. In the city of Milwaukee it was 1.23.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 continues its week over week rise. This past week, the county’s positivity rate was 9.2%, the week before the rate was 5.4%, and the week before that the rate was 3.0%.

The city of Milwaukee had a higher positivity rate at 9.6% than the suburbs at 8.6%.

Approximately 56% of Milwaukee County residents that are eligible for the vaccine, ages 12 and older, have been completely vaccinated, according to a countywide vaccination report.

The vaccination rate for Milwaukee County hit its peak in mid April and has been steadily declining since, mirroring trends at the state and national level. In recent weeks, the county has  had a seven-day average of roughly 1,000 doses a day being administered countywide.

The racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 disease outcomes and vaccinations continue.

Countywide, Asian residents have the highest rate of vaccination, followed by white residents. American Indian and Alaskan Native residents appear to be on track to match or surpass the vaccination rate among white residents in coming weeks. Hispanic and Black county residents have the lowest rate of vaccination in that order.

The vaccination report does show that the vaccination rate among Black and Hispanic residents is steadily increasing, meanwhile, the vaccination rate among white residents has been gradually decreasing since late February and early March.

Black county residents continue to make up a disproportionately high number of the county’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Hispanic residents still have the highest rate of disease, and American Indian and Alaskan native residents have the highest rate of death.

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

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More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Categories: Health, MKE County

8 thoughts on “MKE County: COVID-19 Metrics Show Disease Surging Countywide”

  1. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Joe Biden blames unvaccinated people for the surge in COVID cases. Biden is a liar. The reason for this surge is Biden’s elimination of the COVID mask mandate. COVID deaths were nearly eliminated until Biden ended the mask mandate.

    Joe Biden is the reason why Delta COVID is spreading and killing people all over America…. not unvaccinated people.

    Now there’s a risk of COVID mutating into a “vaccine resistant strain”, similar to “antibiotic resistant bacteria”. If Joe Biden doesn’t pull his head out of his corn hole, he’s going to kill 100 million Americans with his ignorant, misguided COVID policy.

    Please put your COVID masks back on and stop spreading COVID.

  2. tornado75 says:

    there were no federal mandates to wear masks for the general public. there is still a federal mandate for public transportation —trains, buses, airplanes and public stage coaches. covid virus is killing people not joe biden. people getting sick are not vaccinated, they are responsible not joe biden.

  3. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Corporate Democrats receive billions of dollars in bribe money every year from Big Pharma companies like Pfizer. Our corporate owned media and corporate owned politicians are now waging a massive propaganda campaign for COVID vaccnations.

    Pfizer wants all school age children to get shots. Pfizer wants babies to get shots. Pfizer wants pregnant women to get shots. Pfizer wants vaccinated people to get a 3rd and 4th shot this year. A 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th COVID shot will be required next year.

    This COVID shot campaign is run by the same people that lied to us into dozens of wars. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Big Pharma is spreading COVID all over the world in order to sell their vaccine.

    America was only 2-3 months away from defeating COVID by wearing masks… nobody needed vaccinations… then Biden and friends lifted the mask mandate for Big Pharma… just like they lied us into dozens of wars…

  4. says:

    Here’s a thought about the reasons for the surge in Covid cases: If people do not decide to get vaccinated they allow the Delta variation to infect them and enter the noses of those who are vaccinated. How selfish. Those people are limiting the freedom of all those who have taken this pandemic seriously. What a shame.

  5. TransitRider says:

    I’m amazed that masks are required on planes, trains, and buses, but not on elevators. Australia (which, unlike the US, is serious about contact tracing) has several cases where the Delta variant was spread between people whose closest contact was walking past each other (unmasked) in an indoor shopping mall.

    A year ago, we were told that in order to catch covid, you had to be closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. Australia now says that 15 minutes has been reduced to 5-10 seconds (shorter than an elevator trip).

    Another scary study comes from Britain. They have evidence (via before and after MRI scans) that covid actually causes your brain to significantly shrink, especially in that part of the brain that registers smell and taste (which may explain why some people lose those senses after covid).

    Even if you regain your ability to taste and smell, that doesn’t mean your brain has grown back. It only means that your remaining tissue was able to regroup and restore your senses.

    Covid (even a “mild” case) is something you REALLY don’t want to catch.

  6. NieWiederKrieg says:

    The Foo Fighters played a concert at Summerfest last night… 24,000 people were in attendance… Only a dozen people wore COVID masks…

    Here’s a link to pictures of the 24,000 unmasked people who are now spreading Delta variant COVID all over Southeast Wisconsin…

  7. tornado75 says:

    nie…… are you totally out of it. do you think the 600,000 plus people who died of covid 19 would have been saved if they only wore masks. we would be in a better position if everyone wore a mask, but they didn’t. i don’t suppose you get a flue shot every year. i don’t suppose you approve of measles, tetanus, shingles, polio etc.etc, shots either. vaccines are not evil, just another tool to keep people safe and healthy. let’s stop talking like idiots and act like mature, sane thoughtful adults.

  8. TransitRider says:

    There are 4 things you can do to protect against covid (in alphabetical order):
    • Eye protection (covid might also infect via the eyes)
    • Masking
    • Social distancing
    • Vaccination

    None of these are 100% effective, but every one you use improves your odds. Relying on vaccine alone is, I think, short-sighted—especially with Delta. Masks also aren’t a cure-all (even N95 masks only claim to stop 95% of virus particles) but wearing one certainly improves your odds a lot.

    Other things that would help are robust contract tracing and some type of surveillance testing (like sewage testing or random testing). We also need more genomic testing both to identify new variants and to precisely identify infection chains. (Genomic testing is how Australia determined that covid can be spread by walking past somebody indoors; both people had the identical strain of Delta—which was extremely rare down under because it had only shown up in Australia—via an airline crew member—a week earlier).

    Sorry, but I don’t think we are EVER going back to life as we knew it in 2019.

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