Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
New ways to register for COVID-19 vaccine
The City of Milwaukee has launched a new webpage for residents to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The new registration options are meant for those who are eligible, including the 65+ population and first responders.
The webpage includes a listing of people who are eligible, and a ‘Register Now’ button that redirects visitors to answer questions, check availability and make an appointment.
Spots have been filling up quickly for the registrations since the site launched due to high demand.
People can also call the COVID Vaccine Hotline at (414) 286-6800 or email ASKMHDCOVID19@milwaukee.gov.
People can also still sign up for updates and register at healthymke.com. Read: How residents 65 and older can register for a coronavirus vaccine
Health Department to host virtual town hall on vaccines
The Milwaukee Health Department will host a virtual town hall on COVID-19 vaccinations at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10.
The panel will feature Mayor Tom Barrett, interim Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson, registered nurse and Milwaukee Board of Health member Julia Means and Heather Paradis, chief medical officer of the Milwaukee Health Department.
TMJ4 News’ Tony Atkins will moderate the discussion, which is expected to cover information about the vaccine’s safety, process and timeline.
The town hall will also be livestreamed on the Milwaukee Health Department’s Facebook page, on the City Channel (Spectrum Channel 25 and AT&T Channel 99). A recording of the town hall will be available at https://city.milwaukee.gov/CovidVax.
Council to vote on confirmation of nominee to lead Health Department
The Milwaukee Common Council will vote on whether to confirm the nomination of Kirsten Johnson to be the city’s health commissioner on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Johnson, the director and health officer of the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department, was nominated by Mayor Tom Barrett to replace Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik, who left the department in September. Read: How two Milwaukee natives are leading the city’s fight against COVID-19
Walgreens to offer vaccines starting Feb. 12
Walgreens pharmacies across Wisconsin are set to receive roughly 18,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, starting Friday, Feb. 12.
Over 190 Walgreens locations will receive the vaccine, shipped by the federal government. But Greenfield Health Commissioner Darren Rausch but cautioned residents to remain patient because the vaccine will not be readily available.
“It doesn’t resolve all of the supply issues we’re experiencing, because if we divide these 18,000 doses across all of the Walgreens facilities in the state of Wisconsin . . . that means there’s only about 100 doses coming to each of those Walgreens,” Rausch said.
The vaccines are available by appointment only to those in eligible groups, and they have to be made online because there is no current phone option.
The Walgreens store locator can be used to find a pharmacy near you. There are roughly 18 in the city of Milwaukee itself, and several in the surrounding areas.
Gathering limits relaxed as part of new public health order
The Milwaukee Health Department issued a new public health order last week that expands indoor gathering limits to 250 people so long as everyone inside remains seated and follows mask requirements and other social-distancing guidelines. Bars and restaurants will be able to establish counter service with proper precautions as well.
The order also states that museums and public exhibitions might be re-opened with safety plans and halts the requirement of COVID-19 testing for team and contact sports.
The order marks a trend of improved numbers over the span of January, as the county’s seven-day average for cases has decreased.
State’s mask mandate still in effect
The Wisconsin State Assembly voted to repeal the state’s mask mandate on Feb. 4, a move that rebuked Gov. Tony Evers’ executive orders for masking since the pandemic began.
However, almost immediately after the vote, Evers signed another executive order declaring another mask mandate. This means Wisconsin residents are still required to wear masks.
As of Feb. 1, the city of Milwaukee has vaccinated 53,705 people.
As of Feb. 4, the state of Wisconsin has fully vaccinated 143,610 people with both doses of the vaccine. The state has administered at least one dose to 518,320 people.
One in 4 Wisconsinites over the age of 65 have been vaccinated for a total of 243,240.
What you should know about the coronavirus vaccine
How you can help friends and loved ones who test positive
What’s it like to be vaccinated?
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 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- The Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., is open from 9 a.m. to 3 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 the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., and Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., are now open and operating. American Family Field (formerly Miller Park), 1 Brewers Way, is also open as an effective testing site.
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.
For more information on vaccine distribution and where to find it, visit HealthyMKE.com. Available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Burmese and Arabic.
Check out our continuing coronavirus coverage.
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