Graham Kilmer
MKE County

New Cases of COVID-19 Still Rising

Deaths and hospitalizations also higher this week.

By - Dec 17th, 2021 10:36 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 seven-day average of new cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County is continuing to rise.

This past week, there were more than 2,200 new cases of COVID-19. The week prior there were approximately 1,700 new cases. This data comes from a weekly report produced by epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee tracking COVID-19 locally.

The seven-day average of new cases among children has also been rising. This past week there were 656 new cases, whereas there were 439 new cases the week prior.

Hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have also been rising. Both are considered lagging indicators of disease, because of how long it takes for someone to become seriously ill and die after becoming infected.

This past week, 408 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county, up from 339 the week prior. There were 24 children hospitalized this past week, up from 21 the week before. There were 20 deaths this past week. The week before that there were 15 deaths.

The latest data on transmission, from the week of Dec. 1 to Dec. 7, shows the transmission rate in the county was 0.928. This means that during that week, for each identified new case of COVID-19, less than one other person, on average, was infected. This drop in transmission followed a large spike at the end of November, around the time of Thanksgiving.

The positivity rate, which measures how many tests come back positive for COVID-19, was 11.3% this past week. This is only slightly higher than the week before, when the positivity rate was 11.1%.

Of the county residents that are eligible for the vaccine – those five years and older – 60.1% are completely vaccinated. Meanwhile, 42% of the county’s population that is eligible for the booster has received one.

The number of daily vaccines administered has risen in recent weeks, largely due to the demand for booster shots.

Racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 vaccination are still present in the county. Asian-American residents in the county have the highest rate of vaccination, followed by American Indian and Alaska Native residents, then white residents, then Hispanic residents and then Black residents. The percentage of weekly first doses going to Black and Hispanic residents has increased in recent weeks.

The disparities in COVID-19 outcomes present since the start of the pandemic also continue. Black residents have experienced nearly as many hospitalizations due to COVID-19 as white residents despite comprising a much smaller portion 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.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

Categories: Health

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us