Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
New Milwaukee public health order relaxes guidelines
The Milwaukee Health Department announced a new public health order last week that relaxes requirements for area businesses during the pandemic.
Under the new order, which went into effect Friday, businesses will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity without an approved health plan.
Indoor gatherings will be permitted at 75% capacity, with a maximum of 750 people. Outdoor events will allow up to 1,000 people to gather.
Museums and child care organizations will be allowed to open at full capacity.
Under the new order, businesses will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity without an approved health plan.
Indoor gatherings will be permitted at 75% capacity with a maximum of 750 people gathered. Outdoor events will allow up to 1,000 people.
Milwaukee expands vaccine efforts in 10 ZIP codes
The City of Milwaukee announced last week that it is expanding eligibility for vaccines to 10 ZIP codes.
The program previously covered the 53204 and 53206 ZIP codes, which had been selected based on a need for equity in distribution.
Beginning Monday, March 22, people aged 18 and over in the following ZIP codes will be eligible for the vaccine: 53204, 53205, 53206, 53209, 53215, 53216, 53218, 53223, 53224 and 53233.
The Milwaukee Health Department will be in charge of distribution at the sites at North Division High School, 1011 W. Center St., and South Division High School, 1515 W. Lapham Blvd. Those in priority ZIP codes do not have to register as walk-ins will be accepted beginning Monday, March 22.
These sites will have the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for use in those 16 and older.
Appointments can be made for these sites at Milwaukee.gov/covidvax or by calling (414) 286-6800.
These sites will run from March 22 to April 19. They will then be replaced by permanent sites at the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Rd., and Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St.
The Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management will be in charge of distribution at the Kosciuszko Community Center, 2201 S. 7th St. Appointments will be required for this site and can be made on by clicking here.
Those eligible at the Kosciuszko site include:
- State-eligible Milwaukee County employees and affiliates
- State-eligible Milwaukee County vulnerable service users
- State-eligible Medicaid Long Term Care Program participants
- Individuals 18 years and older living in the 10 county ZIP codes participating in the program
Eligibility for people with health conditions moved up to March 22
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced last week that people ages 16 and older with certain medical conditions are eligible starting Monday, March 22 for the vaccine.
Roughly 60% of the state will qualify based on these parameters, according to Department of Health Services officials.
The following conditions will give someone eligibility:
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Down syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Liver disease
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Obesity (body mass index of 30-39 kg/m2)
- Overweight (body mass index of 25-29 kg/m2)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Severe Obesity (body mass index of 40 kg/m2 or more)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
As of March 19, 190,358 people in Milwaukee County had received one dose of the vaccine. This includes 64% of the 65+ population, which amounts to 85,763 people.
The state of Wisconsin has fully vaccinated 780,152 people with both doses of the vaccine. The state has administered at least one dose to 1,340,704 people.
Seventy percent of Wisconsinites over the age of 65 have received the vaccine, for a total of 716,525 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 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.
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.