COVID-19 hot spots remain, health officials remind residents that 'individuals still at risk'

MILWAUKEE -- As counties across Wisconsin take the next steps in reopening, health officials remain concerned about regional COVID-19 hot spots.

"Unfortunately, the south side of Milwaukee continues to be a hot spot for the state," Dr. Jorge Ramallo said.

"Most of those patients are Latinx," he said.

On Friday, 16th Street Health Center passed out free masks at the El Rey near W. Mineral Street and S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive.

"A lot of patients live in multigenerational households," he said.

Dr. Jorge Ramallo

Dr. Jorge Ramallo says most of his positive patients work in essential jobs. The center is working on educating the public on the importance of early testing.

"Even though they might have symptoms they take a few days to a week to actually go get tested," he said.

Out of 5,232 patients tested at 16th Street Health Center, 1,863 have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Even though the state as a whole has decreased the percentage of positive test results coming back we have seen our numbers continue to be 35% positivity," he said.

Dr. Ramallo says the most common symptoms for patients are a loss of smell, cough or fever.

Milwaukee County continues to lead the state in positive COVID-19 cases while Racine County is third in the state.

Officials say the City of Racine remains a hot spot where the number of individuals testing positive per capita remains the highest rate in the state at 16.4%.

"The prevalence of the disease is much greater in the City of Racine," Dottie-Kay Bowersox said.

The city of Racine's health administrator says while she can't comment on the county, she's concerned people in the city are not practicing social distancing.

"We're suffering from COVID-19 fatigue. We want this to be over with. It is a pandemic and individuals are still at risk," Bowersox said.

She says people can enjoy the summer so long as they take precautions for their health and the health of others.

Dottie-Kay Bowersox

"You can get outside, take a walk on the sidewalks, go to the parks but again, it's the social distancing and the touchpoints you have to be concerned about," she said.

Health officials urge anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested the National Guard has testing sites in operation in Central High School in Kenosha. Racine County will have new testing sites in the coming weeks.

Custer Stadium in Milwaukee also has testing available.