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Health & Science

Milwaukee County Begins Zip Code Outreach For Vaccinations; Brewers Allowed 25% Fan Capacity

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Chuck Quirmbach
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WUWM
Milwaukee County is encouraging senior citizens in the 53204 and 53206 zip codes to come to the Kosciuszko Park Community Center for a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Milwaukee County is reaching out to senior citizens in two Milwaukee zip codes with large numbers of low-income Black and Latino residents, in hopes of getting more of those older individuals their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The outreach is going to the 53206 zip code on Milwaukee's north side, and 53204 zip code on the near south side.

On Thursday, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said the goal is to remove barriers to access.

"These outreach efforts will ultimately help us achieve our vision of being the healthiest county in Wisconsin, by striving for racial equity. We are launching this program now to get more vaccines in our most vulnerable communities as quickly possible,” said Crowley

Crowley said the older residents of those zip codes can sign up through COVIDMKE.com. Shots will be given at the county's Kosciuszko Park Community Center on the south side, where the county recently moved other parts of its vaccination program.

As many as 1,000 eligible seniors per week can receive the Moderna brand vaccine there. There may close to 6,000 seniors in those zip codes.

Dr. Ben Weston is with the county's Office of Emergency Management. He explained that the county used the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to choose the targeted areas.

"The Social Vulnerability Index takes into account different [U.S.] census variables, such as income level, access to a car, job status, things of that sort,” said Weston.

The umbrella categories of the SVI are socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, and housing and transportation.

Weston said his office plans to eventually expand the vaccine outreach to all zip codes in Milwaukee County.

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Credit Chuck Quirmbach
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Fan capacity will be limited to 25% as the Milwaukee Brewers begin their baseball season on April 1.

Also Thursday, the city of Milwaukee announced that beginning on opening day of this year's Major League Baseball season, April 1, the Brewers will be allowed to fill their stadium to 25% capacity, or about 11,000 fans who will be required to wear masks.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the city health department and the Brewers agreed fan safety will be the top priority.

"Guests will asked to remain in their seats, in their ticketed seats, while they're watching the game. Food and beverages will be served, but guests are asked to wait until they are back at their seating location to consume them,” said Barrett.

But Barrett said the city won't allow tailgating in the stadium parking lot for now.  He said he hopes to ease restrictions later in the season, as more people are immunized. 

The partial go-ahead for Brewers fans comes as local health officials, like Weston, warn the recent decline in COVID-19 cases is levelling off.

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