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Milwaukee County To Expand Home Vaccination Program For COVID-19

Michelle Maternowski
Milwaukee County's Healthy Homes vaccination program is being made available countywide.

Milwaukee County is making a major expansion in its program to offer a COVID-19 shot at the dwelling of people who have difficulty leaving their residence.

County officials have been running a pilot version of what they call their Healthy Homes program, vaccinating about 50 people in the last few weeks.

But Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said with the help of a $200,000 state grant, the county is making Healthy Homes available countywide.

Crowley said there are many reasons some people are homebound. "Including those who need the help of another person or medical equipment to leave their home, or those whose medical provider believes that their health or illness may worsen if they leave their home. It shouldn't be the case that you aren't vaccinated or your general health care takes a bad turn just because you can't access the medical system traditionally," he told a media briefing Thursday.

Crowley said various vaccination programs have reached many of those homebound, but he estimated Healthy Homes could still help several thousand people.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley speaks to the news media Thursday.
Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley speaks to the news media Thursday.

Dr. Ben Weston is with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management and the Medical College of Wisconsin. He said Healthy Homes will prioritize those who rate high on a federal vulnerability index that has guided some other vaccination efforts.

"So, those are the communities that combine high vulnerability with low rates of vaccination. But regardless of where you live in the county, if you, a family member or a neighbor is looking to receive a COVID vaccine but having trouble leaving their home, please visit healthymke.com or call (414)-257-SHOT. That's (414)-257-7468 to set up a time to get vaccinated," he explained.

Weston said county and municipal health departments are partnering with eight health care organizations to provide vaccinators.

Dr. Ben Weston speaks during Thursday's media briefing.
Dr. Ben Weston speaks during Thursday's media briefing.

State health figures show 44% of county residents have had at least one vaccine shot, 37% have completed the vaccine series. That's a bit below the statewide percentages.

Even so, County Executive Crowley said come June 1, the county will lift its mask requirement for the public at outdoor county-owned areas.

Masks and social distancing will still be required at indoor county venues — for the public and county staff.

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