Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
Milwaukee County sees lowest rate of COVID-19 cases since March
The number of COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County has decreased, reaching less than 5% last week.
“That’s lower than we’ve seen since the very beginning of the pandemic way back in March,” Dr. Ben Weston of the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management said Thursday during a media briefing.
Still, Weston said, the start of the school year brings yet another challenge, and we should prepare to see an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Advice for parents, school leaders
As families and school leaders make difficult decisions on how to keep kids safe, Weston gave a piece of advice: There are no perfect choices in a pandemic, but there are best practices.
“We must not let perfect be the enemy of good,” he said.
While we know kids won’t always maintain physical distancing or keep their masks on, putting expectations and policies based on science in place are good starts to help children adapt and keep everyone safe, he said.
For parents making challenging decisions, “you are not alone in your stress and anxiety,” Weston said. “If we have the best interests of our children in mind, I think we can be comfortable with our choices moving forward.”
Officials seek your input on budget priorities
The coronavirus is financially impacting Milwaukee County — reflected in the projected budget gap of about $42.5 million in 2021, County Executive David Crowley told reporters Thursday.
“The cost to provide the services in our community is increasing every year, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the needs for county services,” he said.
As plans for next year’s budget begin, leaders are looking for community input on what services should be prioritized and how the public thinks the county should address financial shortfalls.
To share input and participate in the budgeting decisions, join the virtual town hall at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25. Residents can submit a comment or a question about the budget or register to speak at the meeting.
There will be two more opportunities to share input on Wednesday, Sept. 2 and Tuesday, Sept. 8. Email email@example.com or call (414) 278-4211 for more information.
In addition, the City of Milwaukee also is asking residents for input on spending priorities for the 2021 budget.
The city’s Budget and Management Division has created the Balancing Act budget simulation tool, an interactive online platform that allows you to develop your own city budget.
Why you should get your flu shot this year
Health care professionals are putting an extra emphasis on getting a flu shot this year – especially with the prevalence of COVID-19.
Flu season generally begins around October and peaks in December and February. Read more here on how Milwaukee is preparing for the flu season and why health professionals say it’s critically important to get vaccinated.
Where to get free masks:
To obtain a free mask, residents can visit these sites:
- Keenan Health Clinic, 3200 N. 36th St., is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
NNS reporters also gathered 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.
Resources to know
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.
Contact your health provider, call IMPACT 2-1-1 or take a look at the county’s testing site map to find a testing center near you. The free community testing sites at UMOS, 2701 S. Chase Ave., and Custer Stadium by Barack Obama School, 4300 W. Fairmount Ave. continue to operate.
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.