FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 2, 2022
City of Milwaukee Weekly COVID-19 Update
MILWAUKEE – This week, Milwaukee County remains in 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 183.9. This includes the city of Milwaukee’s rate of 160.0 per 100,000. There have been 12.8 new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population, and 3.8% 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.
On September 1, 2022, the CDC issued new recommendations for COVID-19 boosters, after the FDA authorized updated booster formulas from both Pfizer and Moderna. The CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible stay up-to-date on vaccinations by getting an updated booster dose at least 2 months after their last COVID-19 shot—either since their last booster dose, or since completing their primary series.
Pfizer’s updated booster shot is recommended for individuals 12 and older, and Moderna’s updated booster shot is recommended for adults 18 and older. Eligible individuals can get either the Pfizer or Moderna updated booster, regardless of whether their primary series or most recent dose was with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
These new boosters contain an updated bivalent formula that both boosts immunity against the original coronavirus strain and also protects against the newer Omicron variants that account for most of the current cases. Updated boosters are intended to provide optimal protection against the virus and address waning vaccine effectiveness over time.
As per the CDC’s recommendations, the new bivalent booster replaces the existing monovalent vaccine booster, therefore that vaccine will no longer be authorized for use as booster doses in people age 12 and up. Currently, 65.4% of city of Milwaukee adults 16 years and older are fully vaccinated, and 51.3% of fully vaccinated individuals have received a booster dose.
Pending final approval from Wisconsin DHS, the Milwaukee Health Department is hopeful to begin administering this new booster dose next week. More updates will be made available as details are finalized.
The federal free at-home test program was suspended on Friday, September 2 due to lack of funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of COVID-19 tests. Households in Wisconsin are eligible for five free at-home COVID-19 tests provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, mailed directly to their home. These free at-home COVID-19 tests can be ordered at sayyescovidhometest.org.
Additionally, most people with a health plan can go online, or to a pharmacy or store to purchase an at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at no cost, either through reimbursement or free of charge through their insurance. Insured individuals interested in exploring this option can learn more on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.
In observance of Labor Day, the Milwaukee Health Department offices, clinics, and COVID-19 sites will be closed Saturday, September 3 through Monday, September 5. Regular hours of operation will resume on Tuesday, September 6. Locations and normal hours can be found at Milwaukee.gov/covidvax.