Milwaukee County's COVID omicron peak passed, official says

Across Milwaukee County, health leaders said there is a continued downward trend in COVID-19 numbers, including decreased positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths.

Dr. Ben Weston, the county's chief health policy advisor, said masking and social distancing are a couple of reasons why the numbers have gone down, but they are not the only reason.

"A big part of it is certainly immunity – vaccine-derived immunity – the safest way to get immunity," Weston said. "Infection-induced immunity, that certainly does provide some level of immunity though in a much riskier way."

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Weston also said the county continues to move toward a good place and has passed the peak of the omicron COVID-19 variant.

"I think we are seeing the end of the BA.1 variant of omicron, the original omicron. I don’t think that BA.2 will have a terribly substantial impact on our community since we’re already seeing the downtrend," said Weston.

Milwaukee leaders said Tuesday that 90 gift cards remained for anyone wanted to get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose – part of an incentive program that launched last week. Those gift cards were gone by around 5 p.m., the health department announced.

It means 1,000 people in Milwaukee received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within the past five days, when the offering of 1,000 gift cards began.

The Milwaukee Health Department has said in the past that such incentive programs work to increase the number of vaccinated individuals in the community.

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