Graham Kilmer
MKE County

COVID-19 Downward Trends Continue

But wastewater sampling is showing an uptick in the amount of virus present.

By - Mar 18th, 2022 01:08 pm
Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County daily number of COVID-19 cases

Milwaukee County is continuing to see its COVID-19 disease burden go down, but there are early signs that this could change.

A weekly report on COVID-19 in Milwaukee County produced by epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee and public health officials shows that new cases of the disease continue to go down.

The report covers the seven days from March 9-15. During that time there were 239 new cases of COVID-19 among county residents, compared to 259 the week prior.

This is the general trend of other major indicators of disease. However, data from samples of wastewater in the Milwaukee area show a sharp increase in COVID-19, according to public data from the state Department of Health Services

As of March 9, samples taken from both the Jones Island Water Treatment Plant and the South Shore Water Treatment Plant, both operated by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), show a “major increase” in the amount of COVID-19 virus in the Milwaukee area’s wastewater.

In a series of tweets, Dr. Ben Weston, Milwaukee County chief health policy advisor, noted that while the trend in wastewater sampling has reversed and is pointed upward, it is still at very low levels.

“A trend is a trend and we should keep an eye on it,” Weston said. “Wastewater is a critical tool especially when community testing is low as it is now.”

The weekly report shows that hospitalizations continue to go down. There were 86 adults and 14 children hospitalized with COVID-19 this past week. The week before there were 115 adults and 17 children hospitalized.

The positivity rate, which measures how many tests come back affirmative for COVID-19, went down slightly to 2.3% from 2.5%.

There were three deaths this past week due to COVID-19. The week prior there was a single death. Deaths are a lagging indicator due to the amount of time it take for the disease to make someone seriously ill. The seven day average for deaths remains down compared to a few weeks ago, according to data from the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

The county’s reproduction number continues to show the disease is being suppressed, though it is up slightly from the previous week. The latest data on transmission, from March 2 to March 8, shows the county had a rate of 0.86; whereas the week before the county was at .83. Though, this still means that, on average, each individual with a confirmed case of disease was likely to pass it to less than one other person.

The percentage of county residents eligible for the vaccine (5 years and older) that are fully vaccinated is at 64.6%, according to a countywide vaccination report, the week prior was 64.4%. The percentage of booster-eligible residents (age 12 years and older) that have received one is 58.2%. The county was at 58.1% the week prior.

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

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Categories: Health, MKE County

One thought on “MKE County: COVID-19 Downward Trends Continue”

  1. TransitRider says:

    Covid is all over. But “all over” has two meanings: “ended” and “everywhere”.

    Which one applies to covid??

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