Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Rising in Milwaukee County

Latest data shows increased transmission of COVID-19.

By - Nov 12th, 2021 03:42 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

A decline in COVID-19 that lasted for nearly a month in Milwaukee County has now reversed.

New data on COVID-19 shows that a slight uptick in cases two weeks ago has continued. Along with more new cases, two other indicators are pointing to a rising level of disease. 

The latest weekly report from a team of epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee shows that the transmission rate and the percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 are also rising.

This past week, there were 1,258 cases of COVID-19. The week before there were 950. Among children, there were 330 cases and 278 the week prior.

Hospitalizations and deaths are both down relative to the week before, though there were still 10 deaths due to COVID-19 this past week. Hospitalization and deaths are considered lagging indicators of disease because of the time it takes for COVID-19 to cause severe illness.

While there was a decline in hospitalizations over the past week, there were still 247 people in the hospital due to COVID-19.

Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, works on the weekly epidemiological report. In an email releasing this past week’s data, Rausch said the increases in the Milwaukee area are similar to increases at the state and national level. “We’re certainly not out of the pandemic yet, and the data will need careful watching in coming weeks.”

The transmission rate, which measures how many people, on average, will catch COVID-19 from a single confirmed case rose above 1.0 at the end of October, according to the latest available data. Between Oct. 2 and Nov. 2, the county’s transmission rate was 1.185. The city’s transmission rate was 1.175 and the suburbs transmission rate was 1.202.

All three of these rates would indicate disease levels are going up, as opposed to being suppressed.

The positivity rate, which measures how many tests come back positive for COVID-19, was 7.5% countywide this past week. It was 7.4% the week prior. Meanwhile, the number of people accessing testing has been declining for six consecutive weeks.

The latest data on vaccinations countywide shows that 55.8% of all residents have received at least one dose, according to public data from the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

Racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes continue. Black residents have had a disproportionately high level of hospitalization, relative to their share of the county’s population. Hispanic residents have had the highest rate of disease. And American Indian and Alaskan Native residents have had the highest rate of death.

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

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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