Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Indicators Point to Increasing Disease Burden

New cases were on the rise throughout the month of November.

By - Dec 3rd, 2021 05:28 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases.

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases.

Throughout the entire month of November, COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County were increasing, and that general trend is continuing.

The data comes from the latest report from a team of epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee. 

The most recent data on COVID-19 in the county shows there were fewer cases of COVID-19 than the week prior. But it was a holiday week and there were fewer hours at testing locations, said Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, who helps develop the weekly report. Meanwhile, other indicators of disease continue to point to increasing disease.

Hospitalizations were higher during the past week than the week prior. There were 303 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 this past week compared to 278 the week prior.

The same general trend in cases and hospitalizations observed among adults is also occurring among children in the county.

There were 10 deaths this past week, which is roughly consistent with the number of weekly deaths throughout November.

The latest data on the county’s transmission rate comes from the week of Nov. 13-23. The transmission rate measures how many people, on average, will be infected by a single confirmed case of COVID-19. The transmission rate was 1.1 in Milwaukee county during that week, indicating the county was not suppressing disease. Transmission was higher in the city with a rate of 1.138 compared to the suburban rate of 1.055.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19, was 10.5% this past week, compared to 9% the week prior.

A countywide vaccination report shows that approximately 58% of all county residents eligible for the vaccine, those 5 years old and older, are fully vaccinated. More than 128,000 booster doses have been given countywide.

The number of daily first time doses of vaccine rose in November, peaking approximately half way through the month. This combined with booster doses has led to a large increase in the number of doses being administered daily in the county.

Disparities in COVID-19 outcomes continue to persist. Black residents have experienced nearly as many hospitalizations due to COVID-19 as white residents despite comprising less than 30% of the county’s population. Hispanics have had the highest rate of disease, and American Indian and Alaska Natives have experienced the highest rate of death.

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

Categories: Health, MKE County, Weekly

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