FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2022
City of Milwaukee Weekly COVID-19 Update
MILWAUKEE – This week, Milwaukee County moved into the Medium COVID-19 Community Level, based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. This level is determined by three metrics: new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.
In Milwaukee County, the case rate per 100,000 population is 195.09. This includes the city of Milwaukee’s rate of 178.3 per 100,000. There have been 13.7 new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population and 4.8% of staffed inpatient beds are in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19. Additional metrics, such as case burden and percent positivity, are accessible on MHD’s COVID-19 data dashboards.
With the shift into the Medium Community Level, the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance for our community changes. The mask advisory for Milwaukee, which has been in place since July 15, is no longer in effect. Well-fitted, high-quality masks are still recommended in public, indoor spaces for those who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Additionally, those who have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness should consider self-testing to detect infection before contact and wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them.
Another effective mitigation tool is to improve ventilation and air quality in indoor spaces. Improving ventilation can help reduce virus particles and keep COVID-19 from spreading. While the weather is still nice, consider opening doors and windows to bring in fresh, outdoor air. While it’s better to open them widely, even having a window cracked open slightly can help. Homeowners with a central HVAC system can filter the air in their home using pleated air filters. Portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and box fans near windows can also help improve air flow.
Most importantly, everyone should make sure they are up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses when eligible. Milwaukee Health Department COVID-19 Clinics are open 6 days a week with free vaccines. No appointment is required to get vaccinated. Visit Milwaukee.gov/COVIDvax for locations and hours.
Earlier this week, CDC released a Fall Vaccination Operational Planning Guide ahead of the anticipated release of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. Pending the potential FDA Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) in September 2022 and subsequent recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a fall and early winter vaccination campaign is expected. Administration of any new bivalent COVID-19 boosters can begin only after CDC’s official recommendations.
Currently, 64.5% of city of Milwaukee adults 16 years and older are fully vaccinated, and 50.8% of fully vaccinated individuals have received a booster dose. Of children ages 5 to 11, 21.8% have completed their pediatric COVID-19 vaccine series and 26% have received at least one dose.