Milwaukee Sees ‘Extreme’ COVID-19 Transmission
Hospitalizations statewide have quadrupled over the past month.
The latest COVID-19 data shows high levels of transmission in the city of Milwaukee.
One of the gating metrics used by the City of Milwaukee Health Department is pointing to “extreme transmission” of COVID-19 in the city.
The seven day positivity rate is currently at 10.1%. This means that 10% of all COVID-19 tests have come back positive for the virus over the past seven days.
During a joint city-county media briefing Tuesday, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson was asked if the city would reinstate the mask mandate, given the level of transmission and Johnson did not dismiss the possibility.
Rather, she said, “I am working closely with the Common Council on identifying what would be most appropriate.”
Ben Weston, director of medical services for Milwaukee County, said current COVID-19 trends are “frankly, not good.”
Milwaukee, like the state and the rest of the country, is seeing a surge in cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. The variant is “one of the most contagious viruses we’ve ever seen.” One piece of the variant’s extreme transmissibility is its tendency to produce up to 1,200 times more virus in an infected person’s body than the original COVID-19 variant.
But now hospitalizations are rising again. The number of patients hospitalized in the state has quadrupled over the last month, Weston said, going from 74 in early June to 310 as of Tuesday. Hospitalizations in the county have tripled in that time.
Weston and Johnson both said that vaccination is the key to fighting the Delta surge and getting out of the pandemic.
The latest data on vaccination outcomes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that vaccinated individuals are approximately three times less likely to become infected with COVID-19 than the unvaccinated, Weston said.
“The way out of this pandemic is through vaccination,” Johnson said.
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