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COVID-19 Testing Is Lower Than Expected As Cases Climb, According To Milwaukee County Officials

Jack Hurbanis
As sites like Miller Park continue to serve as drive-thru testing sites, Milwaukee County health officials say more residents need to use the sites and get tested.

The number of people getting tested for COVID-19 in Milwaukee County continues to be lower than health officials would like. They’re urging residents to take advantage of testing capacity.

During a media update Thursday, Darren Rausch, director of the City of Greenfield Health Department, said data trends are showing continued increases in cases county wide in the most recent weeks.

Yet, he said, testing is still lower than expected.

"We’re averaging probably about 25,000 tests a week for the last two weeks, but it's a far cry from where we were in early November, where we were seeing almost 45,000 to 46,000 tests per week," said Rausch.

Dr. Ben Weston of the Medical College of Wisconsin emphasized that testing remains as important as ever.

And that he’s concerned about the decline.

"It’ll be a while until we have the level of vaccination where it’s really gonna tighten up our percent positivity and our number of cases. And there’s no reason to think that in the next few months we won’t see another spike," said Weston.

One trend officials discussed is a slight increase in the coronavirus among the county’s Asian population, compared to other groups.

Officials also shared information about the vaccination schedule for first responders. Phase 1b is expected to get underway next week with Milwaukee Police Department personnel.

Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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