FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2023
COVID-19 Reporting Requirements Changing in Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE – Starting November 1, 2023, reporting COVID-19 cases to public health entities is no longer required in Wisconsin, unless a case is associated with hospitalization or pediatric death.
Before November, all COVID testing completed in a clinical laboratory was reportable to the City of Milwaukee Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services within 24 hours. This information was available to the public via regularly updated dashboards and promoted widely. Now, with the convenience of free at-home self-testing, laboratory-based testing methods have significantly reduced. Wisconsin residents have turned to self-testing as their primary method.
“While the reporting criteria for COVID-19 are changing, the virus is still present in our community,” said Commissioner of Health Mike Totoraitis. “We can protect ourselves and those around us with the updated booster.”
How the Public can Stay up to Date on COVID-19 Transmission Levels and Data:
Moving forward, COVID-19 surveillance will focus on COVID-19-related hospitalization admission data and wastewater surveillance. This is an approach that will align with the surveillance for the influenza (flu) virus. Wastewater monitoring is one of the main tools in tracking COVID-19, as the virus can be detected in fecal matter shortly after a person is infected with the virus, even before symptoms occur. Wastewater monitoring may allow public health officials to respond and take steps to avoid COVID-19 surges or hospitalizations, especially at times of high transmission.
COVID-19 is still present in Milwaukee. As such, the City of Milwaukee Health Department strongly encourages residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses like flu and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus).
The new 2023/2024 COVID-19 vaccine is free for eligible individuals at City of Milwaukee Health Department Clinics.
Vaccines are also available at pharmacies and healthcare providers. Visit vaccines.gov or HealthyMKE.com to find an immunization clinic near you.