MHD reports 'substantial' COVID-19 transmission, positivity rise

The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) released on Friday, March 26 an update on the public health and safety order "Moving Milwaukee Forward" related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order, in Phase 6, features three COVID-19 gating criteria on a color-coded scale: rate of cases per 100,000 over seven days; percentage test positivity over seven days; city adult vaccination rate.

Over the past week, the Milwaukee Health Department reported a substantial transmission rate of cases per 100,000 -- now 68.3 up from 45.8 -- the criterion moving from YELLOW to ORANGE.

MHD also reported a rise in positivity from 2.4% to 3.8% over the past week -- both numbers considered low transmission, and remaining in the BLUE.

"This is no time to let down our guard. COVID-19 remains a potentially deadly threat in Milwaukee," said Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. "As more people receive vaccinations, we should be seeing transmission reduced, but the presence of new COVID variants combined with less attention to safety measures could move us in the wrong direction."

Johnson reiterated the importance of wearing masks, physically distancing and avoiding gatherings.

Vaccinations increased roughly 2% -- now 10.4% compared to 8.5% the previous week.

Two community vaccination clinics at North Division and South Division high schools vaccinated more than 3,100 people in the past week, according to MHD. 

A minor glitch occurred at the Wisconsin Center vaccination site, where two individuals who were scheduled to receive a second dose of the Moderna vaccine instead received a Pfizer dose. The CDC has guidance for situations such as this, MHD said in a news release, which states people who have received mixed vaccinations are considered fully vaccinated. Vaccine recipients have been notified, and internal protocols have been modified to avoid a repetition of this situation.

MHD will continue to monitor the situation and determine if additional protective measures are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android

Business, jobs bounce back in Wisconsin after challenging year

Wisconsin jobs are coming back one year after the COVID-19 shutdown; the state's unemployment rate is close to where it was pre-pandemic.

DHS: 1st case of Brazil COVID-19 variant identified in Wisconsin

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin rose by 434 Friday, March 26, officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported, for a total of 574,870.