Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
Testing hours change at American Family Field
COVID-19 testing at American Family Field, formerly Miller Park, will have adjusted hours going forward.
The site, 1 Brewers Way, will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The site was previously open Monday though Saturday. Some staff at the site will be relocated to other areas of the vaccination effort.
The Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., and South Side Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., will continue offer testing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Vaccine eligibility expands to teachers, public-facing essential workers
Coronavirus vaccine eligibility expands effective March 1 to include teachers, public-facing essential workers and those in congregate living facilities.
Educators and those working in schools will be prioritized starting this month. This includes:
- Staff working in child care at public or private schools and community centers
- Those working in virtual learning support and out-of-school-time activities
- Those working at Boys and Girls Clubs or YMCA locations
- Preschool and Head Start employees for kindergarten through 12th grade
- Staff at higher education facilities that interact with students in person
Other groups will become eligible starting March 1, but the Department of Health Services said not to expect vaccination until April or May.
Public-facing essential workers, including 911 operators, public transit workers, utility workers, communications infrastructure workers and food supply workers.
Food supply workers include grocery store and convenience store employees, those working on farms and in agricultural settings and hunger relief personnel.
Those in congregate living facilities include people at shelters for people experiencing homelessness or domestic abuse, people in employer-based housing, those in housing that serves the elderly or disabled and incarcerated individuals.
Congregate living facilities also includes those in transitional housing.
Non-frontline medical workers will also be eligible for the vaccine, including those working in public health and health care supply chain roles. Non-frontline indicates that these workers do not interact with patients regularly.
Health officials stressed again this week that eligibility does not mean availability and urged patience with the vaccine rollout.
Mobile units to be established throughout Milwaukee
Beginning March 5, mobile units are expected to deliver vaccinations to underserved areas of Milwaukee.
Mayor Tom Barrett said the city is teaming with the Wisconsin National Guard to set up two mobile units this week, with plans to request more in the future. Barrett said there will likely be pre-registration at the sites as well as walk-up availability.
Barrett said the city is still determining where those units would be located.
Interim Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said some churches will be among the first sites where mobile units will land. All Saints Catholic Church, 4051 N. 25th St., will be a site on Thursday, March 4, and St. Benedict the Moor Parish, 930 W. State St., will host a unit on Friday, March 5.
These sites, however, will not be open to the public. The mobile units are expected to have between 200 and 250 doses available.
FEMA could potentially support vaccination efforts at the Wisconsin Center
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is in talks with the Milwaukee Health Department to support vaccination efforts at the Wisconsin Center.
The Wisconsin Center, 400 W Wisconsin Ave, has served as the main city-run vaccination site. Health department officials hope FEMA will bolster those efforts by supplementing staff at the center, allowing health department workers to support the mobile sites.
FEMA could begin support as soon as the week of March 15.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine wins approval
Federal health officials voted over the weekend to approve the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in the United States for people 18 and older.
It will be the first vaccine authorized in the United States that does not need to be kept frozen or followed by a second shot.
The company plans to start shipping millions of doses this week and would provide the United States with 100 million doses by the end of June.
As of Feb. 26, 111,683 people in Milwaukee County had received one dose of the vaccine. This includes 45% of the 65+ population, which amounts to 59,633.
The state of Wisconsin has fully vaccinated 443,026 people with both doses of the vaccine. The state has administered at least one dose to 868,800 people.
About 51% of Wisconsinites over the age of 65 have received the vaccine, for a total of 521,354 people.
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 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
- The Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St., is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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.
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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