Here’s what you need to know about how COVID-19 is affecting Milwaukee.
1. Milwaukee remains in Phase 4 of reopening.
Read more information on what Phase 4 means for businesses, churches, beaches, restaurants and other spaces here. Remember, wearing a mask, washing your hands often and practicing physical distancing are still the best ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
2. The state is seeing an increase in cases involving young people.
- In March, the average age for coronavirus infection in Milwaukee County was 52 years old, said Dr. Ben Weston of the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management in a meeting Thursday. In June, the average age of cases was 36.
- National reports link to bars— not protests— as the initial point of the coronavirus spread in younger populations.
- Even if it doesn’t seem cool, wearing masks, practicing social distancing and taking other safe precautions during gatherings can set an example for friends and family to follow, said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “We have to continue to normalize these types of behaviors,” he said.
3. Milwaukee officials are paying attention to rising cases in other cities— and say you should too.
- “We are seeing an explosion in this nation of people who are testing positive,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in a meeting on Thursday. Though Milwaukee’s numbers of cases are fairly steady in comparison to other places, “we must be aware of what’s going on elsewhere that will inevitably reach us,” Weston said.
4. As the days get hotter, protect yourself from heat and coronavirus.
- Check on your family members and neighbors, especially those who may be isolated or more vulnerable to heat stress.
- Stay hydrated and bring water with you when you are out of the house.
- If you choose to gather with others, keep at least 6 feet apart from people not in your household, wear a mask and stay outside in a shady space.
- Minimize the amount of time of interactions. The longer you are together, the higher risk you have of exposure to the coronavirus.
- Avoid potluck–style gatherings or sharing of food to limit spreading germs. If possible, make your celebration a bring-your-own-food distanced-gathering.
Additional quick tips for keeping safe over the summer can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Where can I get tested?
Free drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing is available on both the North and South sides.
The North Side site is located at the Custer Stadium by Barack Obama High School, 4300 W. Fairmount Ave., and the South Side site is located at UMOS, 2701 S. Chase Ave.
Those with symptoms, essential workers and individuals who have recently been in larger crowds that may have made them more at risk for COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested.
This interactive map from the Milwaukee County/State of Wisconsin Expanded Community Testing Initiative displays the location and contact information of 21 COVID-19 testing sites
In addition, CVS Health has opened four new test sites in Milwaukee as it expands its coronavirus testing program.
The services will be offered to both insured and uninsured patients, with no out-of-pocket costs.
If you are wondering what it is like to get tested, educator and activist Kika Meraz shared her experiences getting tested for COVID-19 on Milwaukee’s South Side in this Community Voices piece.
Looking for more personalized direction to resources and information during the coronavirus crisis? Get connected with News414, a texting-based news resource from Milwaukee NNS, Wisconsin Watch and Outlier Media. You can text MILWAUKEE to 73224 and begin to receive free, personalized data via text messages,