'Trend is upward:' Milwaukee leaders urge community compliance as COVID-19 cases soar

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County health officials reported 833 positive cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths Wednesday, April 1. Leaders said the best way to stop the spread of the virus continues to be staying at home.

On a beautiful day along Milwaukee's lakefront, parks and paths are usually filled with people. With the temperature rising, leaders asked people to avoid the urge to congregate outside.

"The most important thing you can do is to stay home," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

It is a message that continues to be repeated to help flatten the curve. Milwaukee County saw the largest one-day increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths as the calendar turned from March to April.

Barrett asked that residents call the Milwaukee Health Department or police if they see large gatherings or nonessential businesses violating the stay-at-home order. However, citations and arrests are not the goal.

"This is not meant to be a law enforcement tool," said Barrett. "This Safe at Home, Safer at Home, are there for our public safety."

If those rules are not followed, there may be a change in tone.


"If that doesn't work, and we see flagrant disregard for this, then we are going to take additional steps," Barrett said. "The more all of us, and I mean every part of this community, complies with this, the quicker we'll get through this."

With alarming numbers that continue to grow, leaders want everyone to do their part to try to keep the community healthy and safe.

Dr. Ben Weston

"We can see without a doubt, our trend is upward. Our trend is not in the direction we want it to go," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

Leaders stressed that the virus is affecting all demographics and everyone should be taking its spread seriously.

The deaths in Milwaukee County ranged from people ages 49 to 89 years old.