Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
COVID-19 continues to spread through Milwaukee County, but more recent data shows a surge of cases in the suburbs surrounding the city.
Although Milwaukee’s North and South Side neighborhoods suffered a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 cases early on in the pandemic, recent data shows suburban areas have seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.
Since June, the rate of the transmission in suburban communities has been higher than the City of Milwaukee, said Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, during Milwaukee County’s weekly COVID-19 update Thursday.
The countywide transmission rate significantly increased right around the Fourth of July, Rausch said.
Milwaukee County and public health officials continue to urge anyone with symptoms related to COVID-19 to get tested and encourage those at risk of exposure to COVID-19 to get tested.
Contact your health provider to obtain a test, go to a community testing center or call IMPACT 2-1-1.
Update on utility shut-offs
For at least another month, utility shut-offs are on hold for Wisconsinites.
In a 2-1 vote on Thursday, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission extended the moratorium on utility cutoffs for residential customers to Sept. 1. This decision came in response to concerns that cutoffs would force people to leave their homes into unsafe conditions during the pandemic.
To apply for energy assistance, you can schedule an appointment, call 2-1-1 or call 414-270-4MKE. Milwaukee County also offers energy assistance for low-income residents through Community Advocates and UMOS.
What’s the latest on mask mandate?
Milwaukeeans have been required to wear masks while indoors and outdoors since the MKE Cares mask ordinance took effect last week. Residents will soon need to stay masked up on buses, too.
The Milwaukee County Transit System, or MCTS, is requiring masks or face coverings be worn on buses starting Saturday, Aug. 1. In cases where passengers do not have a face covering, buses will provide a mask as supplies allow.
This decision is the most recent step in the MCTS coronavirus response to protect its workforce and passengers.
Among other policies, MCTS limits bus capacity to 10 passengers to allow for social distancing and recommends riders use contactless fare payment methods like the M-CARD or the Ride MCTS App. It asks passengers to enter the bus through the front door and exit via the rear door.
Certain individuals are exempt from the mask requirement on MCTS buses, and more information can be found here.
Where to get a mask
If you’re still looking to obtain a free mask, the City of Milwaukee Health Department said the community mask distribution plan will be developed by July 31. The plan will detail more access points for free masks .
Here are the updated locations and hours for where to find a free mask. As of Friday, places were giving out up to three masks per person.
- • The Keenan Health Clinic, 3200 N. 36th St., is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- • The Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- • The Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
NNS reporters also compiled a list of where to buy locally made masks, if you’re looking to show some local business love when masking up.
Check the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s website for the most updated facts and answers to questions about the mask ordinance.
Do you have questions about COVID-19 in Milwaukee or how the state is responding to it? What information can we provide that will help you or make life easier as we all deal with this pandemic?
Fill out this form, and NNS reporters will look for answers for you.
Look here for up-to-date statistics on COVID-19 in the county. More precautions on how to stay safe and information on COVID-19 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Check out our continuing coronavirus coverage.
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.
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