Milwaukee COVID trends improve for 8th straight week

The Milwaukee Health Department on Friday, March 4 reported declining trends to the COVID-19 case burden and positivity rate for an eighth consecutive week.

According to the health department, the city saw 41.2 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past week. The disease burden dropped from the previous week's 71.5. The gating metric improved from "substantial" to "moderate" transmission.

Percent positivity dipped to 2.7% compared to 4.4% the previous week. The gating metric remained in the "low" transmission designation.

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Additionally, based on new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Milwaukee County is now in the "low" COVID-19 Community Level.

Milwaukee's mask ordinance expired on Tuesday, March 1. While masks are no longer required in all public buildings, many businesses may still individually require face coverings – and masks are still required on public transportation and in many schools and health care facilities. All Milwaukee Health Department health clinics and COVID-19 sites will still require masks for all staff and visitors.

"The continued decrease in COVID-19 cases in our community is promising," said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. "The CDC guidance says that those who are fully vaccinated can feel safe foregoing their mask in public spaces. However, for a myriad of reasons, many people are not comfortable removing their masks. They may be immunocompromised, have a young unvaccinated child at home, have other high-risk loved ones in their home, want to continue to add a layer of protection for those around them, or are just not ready to remove their mask yet.

"Whatever their reason may be, please remember we don’t know anyone else’s individual situation, so it’s important to be respectful and wear your mask if you are asked by a business or individual."

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The health department said 63.4% of city residents ages 16 and older are fully vaccinated. Additionally, 45.5% of fully vaccinated people have received a booster dose.

Vaccines and booster doses are available without an appointment at the Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center and Menomonee Valley Site. Hours of operation, locations, and a full schedule of upcoming mobile vaccination clinics is available on the Milwaukee Health Department COVID-19 website.

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