Milwaukee COVID cases, positivity drop: 'Stay diligent'

The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) on Friday, Oct. 29 reported declining COVID-19 case and positivity trends for the preceding week.

According to MHD, the city saw 135.2 new cases per 100,000 people. The disease burden is down from the previous week's 181.6 cases per 100,000. The gating criteria designation improved to "high" transmission; it was previously "extreme."

Percent positivity dropped to 5.5%, still considered "moderate" transmission. The gating criteria was reported at 6.9% the previous week.

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"We’re encouraged by this continuing decline," said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson, "but as a community, we need to stay diligent about maintaining our safety precautions, especially as we move indoors with the colder weather.

"This includes masking up when you’re with anyone outside of your household, avoiding large indoor gatherings, maintaining physical distance whenever possible, washing your hands thoroughly and often, and getting yourself and loved ones vaccinated. In addition to protecting you from COVID, these measures will help keep you healthy and safe as we head into flu season."

As of this week, 58.3% of Milwaukee residents age 16 or older are fully vaccinated and 63.4% have received at least one dose, MHD said.

The COVID-19 vaccine incentive program continues for any city of Milwaukee resident who receives their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center or Menomonee Valley Site; $25 gift cards are still available on site, while supplies last.

As of Thursday, Oct. 28, the Southside Health Center’s COVID-19 operations have transitioned to a drive-thru. Individuals visiting the Southside Health Center for their COVID-19 vaccine or a COVID-19 test should enter the drive-thru lane from 24th Street and follow the directional signage.

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Details on booster dose eligibility is available on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ website. Any individuals with questions about receiving a booster dose can also call the COVID Hotline for assistance at 414-286-6800.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 for Emergency Use Authorization. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make more detailed recommendations, with a final decision by the CDC’s director expected shortly afterwards.

Following Wisconsin DHS approval, interested individuals will be able to find details about the vaccine at Milwaukee.gov/COVIDVAX.

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