COVID-19 Increasing In Milwaukee
COVID-19 data shows potential for continued increase in disease. Vaccination, boosters key to what happens next.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently raised the COVID-19 community risk level for Milwaukee County to medium, and new data collected by local public health officials indicates the county may continue to see its disease burden increasing.
The CDC assessment is based on the number of new cases, hospital admissions and healthcare capacity. The latest weekly report tracking the disease in Milwaukee County shows that every indicator of disease is currently pointing to an increasing disease burden in the area.
There were 636 new cases of COVID-19 among county residents between Oct. 5-11. This is up from the previous week, which had 602 new cases. Among the new cases this week, 138 were children, up from 125 the week prior.
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are also up, with 109 this past week, compared to 99 the week prior. There were three deaths reported. The week prior there were zero reported deaths.
The positivity rate went up only slightly, from 9.2% to 9.1%. This follows a more significant jump the week prior when the rate went up nearly a whole percentage point in a week. It’s also possible that the rate has been slightly diluted by an increase in the number of people seeking testing. Rausch noted, “It is important to remember that this report reflects only positive PCR laboratory tests and does not include rapid antigen tests or home tests. PCR testing has been up over the past few weeks.”
The percentage of all county residents that have been fully vaccinated is currently 61.4%, up from 61.3% the week prior. The percentage of people eligible for booster shots that have received one also went up, from 58% to 58.3%.
Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County, held a briefing with local media this week to spread the word that “Maintaining immunity at a population level is key to moving forward to living our lives and avoiding future surges from the pandemic.”
That a new variant will become dominant, leading to a new surge in disease, is a certainty, Weston said. “We cannot ignore substantially rising levels throughout much of Europe, where both cases and hospitalizations are increasing as the latest variants jockey for front-runner status,” he said.
This, he explained, is why it’s critical that anyone 12 years and older that are three months out from their last dose get boosted. New bivalent boosters, as they are called, produce immunity targeted at both the original COVID-19 variant and the highly contagious subvariants known as Omicron.
“The new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is currently available at many pharmacies, local health departments, and other health care providers,” Rausch said, “vaccines, at this point, should be readily available in many locations.”
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- Milwaukee County Announces New Policies Related to COVID-19 Pandemic - County Executive David Crowley - May 9th, 2023
- DHS Details End of Emergency COVID-19 Response - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Apr 26th, 2023
- Milwaukee Health Department Announces Upcoming Changes to COVID-19 Services - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Mar 17th, 2023
- Fitzgerald Applauds Passage of COVID-19 Origin Act - U.S. Rep Scott Fitzgerald - Mar 10th, 2023
- DHS Expands Free COVID-19 Testing Program - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Feb 10th, 2023
- MKE County: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rising - Graham Kilmer - Jan 16th, 2023
- Not Enough Getting Bivalent Booster Shots, State Health Officials Warn - Gaby Vinick - Dec 26th, 2022
- Nearly All Wisconsinites Age 6 Months and Older Now Eligible for Updated COVID-19 Vaccine - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Dec 15th, 2022
- City of Milwaukee Bi-Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Dec 9th, 2022
- MKE County: COVID-19 Disease Burden Remains Stable - Graham Kilmer - Nov 25th, 2022
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