Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Milwaukee At Low Level of COVID-19

But vaccination remains key to maintaining gains against the disease says county health leader.

By - Sep 29th, 2022 09:12 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.

Based on reported case data, Milwaukee County currently has a low level of COVID-19 for the first time in five months.

Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy director for Milwaukee County, said the disease level is being driven down by the twin forces of increasing immunity and a stable variant.

“We have been able to build immunity through vacc/booster (best methods) and, yes, infection, in the setting of a relatively stable variant,” Weston said in a tweet. “As long as the variant stays stable, disease burdens may follow.”

“But we have seen new variants in the past throw us a curveball,” he said. “That is why keeping immunity high through vaccines and boosters is so critical now and in the future.”

Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, works on a weekly report tracking COVID-19 in Milwaukee County with local epidemiologists, public health officials and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee. “Countywide case data continues to trend downward (primarily due to decreasing cases in adults) but hospitalization data remains fairly consistent with the prior week. Additionally, it is notable that we’re seeing a continued plateau among cases in kids under 18 years,” said Rausch in an email releasing the latest report.

Between Sept. 21-27, there were 587 new reported cases of COVID-19 compared to 784 the week prior among adults and children in the county. Among just children, there were 142 new cases, down from 191 the week prior.

As of Sept. 27, there were 106 adults hospitalized due to COVID-19, down from 112 the week prior. Among children, there were 12 hospitalizations, up from 11 the week prior. There were two deaths due to COVID-19 this week, for the second week in a row.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19, was 8.2% down from 10.4% the week prior. This data only includes laboratory-tested PCR tests, not rapid antigen tests or at-home tests.

Currently, 61.3% of all county residents are completely vaccinated and 57.9% of all booster-eligible residents (5 years and older) have received one booster shot, according to a countywide vaccination repor.

The weekly report, kids report and vaccination report are available on Urban Milwaukee.

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