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Uptick In COVID-19 Cases Among Milwaukee County Children Worries Health Officials

Swing set
Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Getty Images North America
A child uses a swingset while others play nearby during socially distanced recess on the playground of Medora Elementary School on March 17, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Officials in Milwaukee County continue to express concern about a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, and the concern extends to some children who have become sick.

At a Thursday media briefing, Greenfield Health Director Darren Rausch said the number of cases involving kids is still relatively small, but based on what he's seeing in the Greenfield school system, there are some troubling signs.

"You know, spring sports have started. Baseball, football, track and some of those sports have started practicing. Spring break has been on for the last week for many schools. So, there might have been more interaction in the non-school setting. Maybe where the guard was let down or the mask was taken down," he said.

Cumulative COVID Children Cases in Milwaukee County
Milwaukee County COVID-19 Epidemiology Intel Team
From the "Burden of COVID-19 on Milwaukee County children" April 1, 2021 report.

>> Burden of COVID-19 on Milwaukee County children April 1, 2021 report

Rausch said travelers should be careful as they come back to the area. "I hope that you will monitor yourself for symptoms. You will take precautions before your re-enter the workplace, send the kids back to school," he said.

Rausch said there are a couple of high school football teams dealing with COVID-19. He said multiple individuals on the Cudahy team tested positive early this week, just days after playing the Greenfield football team. Contact tracing has shown that game as a potential source of exposure. So, Rausch said multiple quarantines are in place for the Greenfield squad.

"At this point, my understanding is the Greenfield School District and football team will be cancelling their game versus West Allis Hale this weekend, and the team will be shutting down their football activities through April 5," he said.

Monday, April 5, is when all Wisconsin residents as young as 16 become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

There's one other development on the youth front. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner says a 14 year-old Latino boy has died from "complications" with COVID-19.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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