In the days after the Wisconsin Supreme Court negated the Evers Administration’s Safer-at-Home orders, there has been a large increase in both the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee and a nearly three-fold increase in the percentage of positive tests in the county.
The increase in cases comes as safer at home orders remain in place for both Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee.
However, those increases over the same amount of time do not translate as much statewide.
The nature of coronavirus makes it very hard to track when people contract the virus, including the timing of when symptoms show up – which can be weeks afterward. That means there is no guarantee that there is a causative relationship between the opening up of businesses after the Supreme Court ruling and the increase in both positive tests and positive test percentages.
In the three days after the ruling, the percentage of positive tests in the county rose from nine percent on May 13 to 25 percent on Saturday, May 16.
That is the highest test percentage in Milwaukee County in more than a month, since April 12.
Additionally, the five highest total positive test amounts in Milwaukee County since the pandemic began have come since the ruling – the four days after the ruling, and yesterday (Tuesday, May 19).
“Test results may take approximately four days to be accurately reflected by the system,” the county says, so test percentage data including May 17-20 may not have complete accuracy.
“Fluctuations in testing patterns, such as ratios of symptomatic to asymptomatic individuals being tested, may lead to slight artificial changes in percent positive cases.”
The State of Wisconsin’s numbers also saw a rise in daily total cases across the state, but just a one-day spike in positive test percentages that did not rise above 8.3 percent on May 16 (Saturday).
Currently, the greatest coronavirus case hot spot in Milwaukee County over the last seven days is on Milwaukee’s south side, where it has remained for numerous weeks.
The general area of the largest case totals has expanded slightly westward, with the borders between Miller Park Way on the west, National Avenue on the north, I-43/94 on the east and Howard Avenue on the south.