Milwaukee COVID positivity downgraded, now 'substantial'

The Milwaukee Health Department on Friday, May 6 reported that COVID-19 positivity has been downgraded to "substantial."

The city has reported six consecutive weeks of worsening disease trends.

According to the health department, the city saw 147.4 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past week. The disease burden rose from the previous week's 117.8. The gating metric remained "high" transmission.

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Percent positivity rose to 8.1% compared to 6.6% the previous week. The gating metric was downgraded from "moderate" to "substantial" transmission. The gating metric has been downgraded in back-to-back weeks.

The health department said 64.5% of city residents ages 16 and older are fully vaccinated, and 48.2% of fully vaccinated people have received a booster dose.

With Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8, many families will likely gather together to celebrate the moms in their lives. MHD recommends people follow health guidance:

  • Ensure everyone is up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines
  • If possible, gather outside or open windows to allow fresh air to circulate
  • Consider wearing a mask to protect anyone who is at a high risk for severe illness
  • Test before gathering and only gather with those who are negative for COVID-19Stay home if you are symptomatic or have come in contact with a positive COVID-19 case

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As the weather in Milwaukee warms up, opening windows to bring fresh air inside is an effective tool to make indoor spaces safer, the health department said; research shows changing the air in a room multiple times an hour with filtered or clean outdoor air can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by up to 50%.  

Milwaukee Health Department COVID-19 sites are open Monday through Saturday at the Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center and Menomonee Valley Site for free COVID-19 tests and vaccines without an appointment. Hours of operation available on the Milwaukee Health Department COVID-19 website.