Milwaukee's COVID disease burden continues to rise

Milwaukee River, downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee's COVID-19 disease burden has nearly doubled every week for the past four weeks, a Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) news release indicated Friday, Aug. 6.

According to MHD, the city saw 218.4 cases per 100,000 people, up from the previous week's 95.4 cases per 100,000. The gating criteria was downgraded into the "extreme transmission" category.

Percent positivity also rose to 10.9%, moving in the "high transmission" category. The gating criteria was reported as "moderate transmission" at 7.5% the previous week.

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As of this week, 55.5% of Milwaukee residents 16 or older have received at least their first dose of vaccine and 51% have completed their vaccination series, MHD said.

"We know how to reverse this trend," said Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. "The message hasn’t changed. It is critically important that everyone eligible gets vaccinated. If you are not yet vaccinated, masks are a crucial tool to keep yourself and those around you safe until you receive your vaccine."

COVID-19 testing is still free, quick, easy and available at the Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center, and American Family Field. Anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or who has come in close contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed to be positive for COVID-19, should prioritize getting a test three to five days after exposure. Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic but should wear a mask for 14 days or until a negative test result. Those who are unvaccinated should isolate for 14 days or until a negative test result.

The hours at the Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Centers adjusted this week to accommodate a mix of morning, afternoon, evening and weekend hours. Both locations will offer testing and vaccination on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 until 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The clinics are closed on Sundays and Wednesdays. The hours for American Family Field have not changed, but please check the website for any closures due to conflicting Brewers games.

More information on testing can be found on our website at Milwaukee.gov/COVIDtesting.

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