Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
UWM to offer rapid tests starting Tuesday, Nov. 10
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will begin offering free rapid tests on Nov. 10.
The tests, part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, will be offered in the UWM Student Union, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd.
The free tests are available to community members over the age of 5. Participants must register in advance.
Generally, tests on the Milwaukee campus occur from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on the day.
South Shore testing site will close for Veterans Day
The South Shore testing site, 1625 10th Ave. in South Milwaukee, will close Wednesday, Nov. 11 to observe Veterans Day.
Mayor Tom Barrett said there were 547 tests at the site last Wednesday. The site is normally open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site will be open on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday this week.
Other city-run Milwaukee testing locations are expected to be open.
Curve is ‘steepening’ in Milwaukee County, officials say
Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Department of Emergency Management, said COVID-19 numbers continue to worsen as the third surge goes on.
“Not only do we not have a flattening of the curve . . . we’re seeing a steepening of the curve as our numbers are getting worse and worse,” Weston said.
Cases in Milwaukee County continue to climb, as 15% of all tests are coming back positive. More than 400 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, Weston said.
Weston urged residents to continue to follow guidelines such as avoiding gatherings, even smaller, indoor ones, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Wisconsin chief health officer resigns as statewide surge continues
Stephanie Smiley, interim administrator of the Division of Public Health in the state Department of Health Services and Wisconsin’s chief health officer, is stepping down effective Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Smiley said the past months have been difficult and that she plans to focus on her health.
The Department of Health Services reported an average of 4,389 cases in a week on Nov. 4. Over the last two months, that average has increased by over 500%. The state broke record highs in single-day cases last week as well.
The state is also at a 33% positivity rate for the last seven days, meaning one third of all COVID-19 tests in the state are coming back positive.
How you can help friends and loved ones who test positive
Where to get free masks
To obtain a free mask, residents can visit these sites:
- 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 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.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Milwaukee Health Department alters mask distribution plan to fit decreased demand
Where to get flu shots
Health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated for the flu this season to avoid coinfection with COVID-19. To find out more about why vaccinations this year are crucial, read our earlier reporting.
Click here for places where you can get flu shots.
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 the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., and Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., are now open and operating. Miller Park is also opening as a testing site effective Oct. 19.
For more information on testing, including how to identify symptoms and when you should get tested, visit TestUpMKE.com. Available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Burmese and Arabic.
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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