Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Milwaukee County Has High Level of COVID-19

CDC classifies county as having high level of disease. City reissues mask advisory

By - Jul 15th, 2022 05:43 pm

N95 style medical mask. Photo by Banej [CC BY-SA (].

N95 style medical mask. Photo by Banej (CC BY-SA).

Public health officials are warning that a new variant of COVID-19 is becoming a concern for Milwaukee County, as the county once again has a high-level of COVID-19.

This classification comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is based on increasing cases, hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

On Friday, the City of Milwaukee reissued a mask advisory, which recommends that everyone over the age of two should wear a mask when indoors in a public space, regardless of vaccination status.

The administration of President Joe Biden released a statement Tuesday noting that the latest data indicated that sub-variants of the highly-contagious Omicron variant, known as BA.4 and BA.5, now make up approximately 85% of all cases in the U.S. – with BA.5 making up the majority of those cases.

The same day, Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County, said on twitter that it’s important to be up to date on vaccines and boosters and to wear a mask indoors now that BA.5 is the dominant variant.

“BA.5 is very good at evading immunity from past infection or vaccination,” he said.

It’s this data point noted by Weston that has led to the expectation that new cases will continue to rise in the coming weeks.

The number of daily new cases began to rise in early April and still have not returned to low levels seen before the rise.

The latest weekly report, from July 6-12, produced by public health officials and epidemiologists and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee shows there were 1,369 cases this past week, up from 1,090 the week prior.

There were 141 people hospitalized in Milwaukee County due to COVID-19 this past week, compared to 127 the week prior. There were zero deaths.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 went up to 15.8% this past week compared to 15.1% the week prior. This figure only represents positive PCR tests sent to a laboratory, not rapid antigen tests or home tests.

In Milwaukee County, 61.5% of all residents are completely vaccinated, and 58.6% of booster eligible residents have received a booster, according to a countywide vaccination report.

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

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Categories: MKE County

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