Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Cases Rapidly Increasing

The county's weekly case rate is 18 times higher than one month ago.

By - Aug 6th, 2021 04:46 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

The COVID-19 weekly case rate in Milwaukee County this past week was 18 times higher than it was a month ago.

Between July 28th and August 3rd, there were 1,644 cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County, according to a weekly report by epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee.

Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, works on the weekly report. In an email accompanying the latest report, he said, “We certainly seem to be increasing at rates not seen since last fall, and it is unknown when this current peak will occur.”

Case rates are quickly rising among children as well. The report shows 301 cases among children during the same seven-day period, which is 14 times higher than the case rate one month ago.

During the past week, there were four deaths due to COVID-19 countywide. Three of them were in the city of Milwaukee.

Deaths are a lagging indicator because of the time it takes for the virus to cause severe, life threatening illness. Throughout the pandemic rises in cases were always followed first by rising hospitalizations, then deaths.

COVID-19 related hospitalizations have begun rising in the county and the rest of the state. The number of patients hospitalized statewide is approximately four times higher than it was a month ago.

The latest data on transmission shows transmission steadily increasing throughout the month of August. The transmission rate for the county from July 21-27, was 1.702. This means that each newly identified case of COVID-19 will, on average, spread the disease to 1.702 other people.

The transmission rate in the  city was 1.674 and in the suburbs 1.770. The City of Milwaukee Health Department recently reported that Milwaukee was experiencing “extreme transmission” of the disease.

The county’s transmission rate has not been this high since early March 2020 when the disease first arrived in the Milwaukee area.

The county’s positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 has risen week over week for well over a month. The countrywide positivity rate for this past week was 10.6%. In the city it was 11.8%, and in the suburbs 8.5%.

A little over one months ago, the positivity rate for the county was 1.2%. Meanwhile, the number of people getting tested has been steadily increasing since late June.

A heat map of Milwaukee County showing the incidence of COVID-19 shows that high incidence of disease is widespread throughout the county.

Racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes have been a feature of the pandemic since the beginning.

In the county, Black residents make up a disproportionate number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 relative to the percentage of the county’s population that is Black. Hispanic residents 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 here.

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Categories: Health, MKE County

6 thoughts on “MKE County: COVID-19 Cases Rapidly Increasing”

  1. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Look at the COVID chart…

    The rapid rise in COVID cases started when everybody removed their COVID masks…

    Nobody at Summerfest, the Deer District, and State Fair is wearing a COVID mask.

    Vaccinated people are catching and spreading COVID.

    End of discussion….

  2. Mark Nicolini says:

    Don’t forget the Brewers ballpark, whatever it’s called now. Shoulder to shoulder shouting. Don’t get me wrong, I get excited about the sports, but throwing all caution to the winds hasn’t been responsible.

    I hope more employers impose vaccination requirements.

  3. Dave Reid says:

    @NieWiederKrieg

    Actually, the data shows that the unvaccinated are much more likely to catch COVID, and are more likely to have severe illness and death.

    Here is some great visuals to understand the truth: https://www.nbcnews.com/specials/data-shows-how-rare-severe-breakthrough-covid-infections-are/index.html

    Some examples:

    In California, infected unvaccinated people were 142 times as likely to need hospitalization as infected vaccinated people.
    In New Jersey, unvaccinated people were 1,058 times as likely to need hospitalization.
    In Washington state, the sickest patients were 62 times as likely to die if they were unvaccinated.

    PS And yes masks help too, but getting the vaccine is way way more of a defense and helps everyone else as well. It is the road out of this mess.

  4. NieWiederKrieg says:

    @Dave Reid – Thank you for your reply.

    The number of confirmed COVID cases in Wisconsin decreased from 8,916 on 11/9/20 to 45 on 6/20/21.

    Milwaukee County ended its mask mandate on 6/1/21. Madison County ended its mask mandate on 6/2/21.

    The number of confirmed COVID cases in Wisconsin increased from 45 on 6/20/21 to 954 on 8/2/21 (2,120% increase).

    The above data shows that masks are the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID.

    COVID vaccines decrease the severity of COVID symptoms, hospitalizations, and deaths but they are nowhere near as effective in preventing the spread of COVID as masks.

    P.S. The first cases of the Lambda variant of COVID, “which is showing resistance to vaccines in Tokyo, Japan”, have been detected in Louisiana, while the country still continues to respond to rising cases and hospitalizations caused by the Delta Variant.

    https://www.wpr.org/dane-county-milwaukee-end-mask-mandates-june
    https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/county.htm#case%20death
    https://www.newsweek.com/lambda-variant-covid-louisiana-cases-texas-vaccine-1616875

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @NieWiederKrieg To be clear I’m not arguing against masks, wearing one as I type. But that data does not actually prove that.

    Now if you look at the data in the MSNBC story you will see that in the real world people who have gotten vaccinated have been less likely to get covid, and to die or be hospitalized if they get it. Seems to me that’s what we want. No?

    Of course it’s true, new variants will arise and yeah they can become more resistant to a particular vaccine. So similar to the Flu the vaccines will need to be updated as time goes on. Still the best long-term solution.

  6. TransitRider says:

    You have to wonder about what’s happening in England. On July 19 the UK ended most masking and social distancing rules even though covid case numbers were increasing. (Masks are still required on London’s buses and rails.)

    Experts predicted that this would cause covid cases to explode, but instead covid cases been DECLINING. None of the experts can explain why.

    At first this was so unexpected that most experts thought it was just a short-term data glitch and numbers would resume climbing again soon. But it’s been several weeks now and those numbers (while still high) definitely seem to be dropping.

    There is so much we don’t understand, and it is reasonable to take all precautions (masking, vaccinating, and distancing).

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