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Coronavirus Remains 'Rampant' In Milwaukee County, Health Expert Says

Mauro Rodrigues
Cases of the coronavirus (shown here is its structural morphology) in Milwaukee County are on the rise, especially among Hispanics and those ages 18-39.

Cases of the novel coronavirus in Milwaukee County are on the rise. More than 10,700 people have tested positive, and more than 330 county residents have died from COVID-19. Health and political leaders remain concerned about how the virus is trending.

According to data, the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb in the Hispanic community, surpassing the rates in other groups in Milwaukee County. 

"Currently, the incidence rate, or the rate of new cases, in the Hispanic population is 2.5 times greater than the rates indicated and calculated in the African American and Asian communities," says Darren Rausch. He's a public health officer with the city of Greenfield who explained some of the trends health professionals are keeping an eye on during Thursday's COVID-19 county update.

>>WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Rausch says another trend that has remained consistent: lower-income populations have the most disadvantages and the most cases of the coronavirus.

But the concerns don’t stop there. Rausch says some of the largest increases in coronavirus cases are among those ages 18-39. And the numbers also are going up among those under 18.

"It does appear that as the county has become more open, starting in mid-May, that cases amongst those under 18 and those 18 to 39 have increased pretty significantly. As well as a slight increase for those 40 to 59," he explains.

That being said, Rausch stresses that people 60 and older still have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 and are still the most at risk for significant complications, hospitalizations and death. 

Health professionals are also monitoring the “doubling times” of cases – meaning the time it takes for the number of cases to double.

Rausch says the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are doing better compared to the state, with doubling times of 50 and 57 days, respectively. The state is about 31 days.

"We have really slowed the spread of COVID that we’re not doubling our numbers in days and weeks as we had early in the outbreak," Rausch says.

Still, Rausch says the virus is "rampant" in Milwaukee County. And he urges the public to maintain precautions, such as social distancing and wearing masks, to continue to slow the spread.

Coronavirus testing continues to be offered at National Guard sites in Milwaukee County. But county executive David Crowley is urging people without a doctor to seek one now because he says the National Guard won’t be here forever.

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Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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