Here’s the latest update on COVID-19 in Milwaukee and the resources you need to combat it.
Milwaukee health order to stay in place following review
Milwaukee’s Phase 6 health order will stay in place for another four weeks, Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said during a media briefing last week.
The order, which relaxed gathering and capacity limits at bars, restaurants and other public areas, was under review following a surge in cases and hospitalizations around the city and county.
Johnson said trends had stagnated over the last few days, and the department did not feel it was necessary to reintroduce restrictions.
Johnson said she hoped more residents will get vaccinated. As of April 16, about 20% of Milwaukee’s population is fully vaccinated.
“Please help us get vaccines in arms so we can focus forward,” Johnson said.
Evers administration makes deal with USDA to maintain food benefits
Last week, Gov. Tony Evers announced that the state had secured more than $70 million for food benefits from the federal government.
Wisconsin has been receiving over $50 million a month from the federal government to fund efforts like FoodShare.
Under federal coronavirus aid legislation, food assistance benefits were expanded to provide a 15% increase in benefits through June. But states were required to have an active emergency declaration related to COVID-19. The Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month ended the state’s emergency declaration that qualified Wisconsinites for the expanded benefits.
Use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted after federal guidance
Vaccinators across the country have halted use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women in the United States developed blood clots and low platelet counts.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been administered to nearly 7 million people, making this reaction extremely rare thus far. There have not been similar reactions found in the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
The vaccine is currently under review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a release from Johnson & Johnson.
The state of Wisconsin will stop usage temporarily, including the Milwaukee Health Department and county vaccinators.
Mayor Tom Barrett said Johnson & Johnson was by far the smallest share of the city’s administered vaccines. About 60,000 Pfizer and 20,000 Moderna vaccines had been given, compared with fewer than 2,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, said: “The recommendation for people who have already received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is to not be overly concerned. Your risk is still extremely low.”
As of April 16, 344,409 people in Milwaukee County had received one dose of the vaccine.
The state of Wisconsin has fully vaccinated 1,504,167 people. This amounts to over a quarter of the state’s population.
The state has administered at least one dose to 2,239,906 people.
Where you can get the coronavirus vaccine in Milwaukee
What you should know about the coronavirus vaccine
What’s it like to be vaccinated?
What you need to know before, during and after getting your shot
How you can help friends and loved ones who test positive
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.