The first case of the COVID-19 virus was identified in Milwaukee County on March 13, 2020.
In the three years since then there have been over cases and over 2000 deaths in the county. But Milwaukee County Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston believes the situation now is one that seemed unlikely for much of that time.
“We’re in a far better place than in the past,” Weston said. “Our disease burden shows signs of decline as we critically see the lowest level of hospitalizations in 10 months and relatively rare deaths.”
That low level of hospitalizations is due in large part to the fact that there haven’t been any major recent surges in cases.
“We’ve been through winter, spring, summer and fall without a surge,” Weston said.
However, Dr. Weston cautioned that while COVID cases have reached the low transmission level in the county, the pandemic remains ongoing and there’s still much he’s encouraging residents to do to keep everybody safe.
“We must remain prepared,” he said. “That preparation comes in continuing to promote strengthening and maintaining immunity in the safest way possible through vaccines and boosters.”
He also highlighted making high-quality masks available to the public and continuing to consider vulnerable people and high-risk settings in order to increase protection from disease.
Reflecting on the past three years, Dr. Weston acknowledged that COVID has been unpredictable but credited the community for their work in getting us from March 2020 to March 2023.
“In the end the progress is due to each of you,” “The folks out there getting vaccinated, getting boosted, and taking precautions over the last three years at times of increased disease burden and especially around those most vulnerable in our community.”
For more information on COVID-19 in Milwaukee County, check out the official county website for the disease here