CITY OF MILWAUKEE — For the first time since last August, the metrics the City of Milwaukee uses to track the coronavirus include three categories achieving green status, a positive sign as vaccination efforts ramp up in the city, the health department announced Friday.
The overall number of COVID-19 tests continues to trend downward, and the percentage of positive tests reached its lowest level since the health department began using its five gating criteria to track the progression of the pandemic. The metrics are used to adjust the department's #4.4 public health order. The last revision for the order went into effect two weeks ago.
View the gating categories below:
The gating criteria that reached green status on Friday are the number of coronavirus cases, the number of positive tests, and the percentage of hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients. The remaining two gating criteria, still marked in yellow, are the number of hospital systems reaching their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) goals, and successful COVID-19 tracing.
“The positive trends in the gating criteria are encouraging, but storm clouds are on the horizon. We are moving forward purposefully to vaccinate, test, and get compliance with public health regulations. That’s Milwaukee’s best approach to crushing COVID,” Acting Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said in a statement Friday.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the health department did acknowledge its concern over a new COVID-19 variant discovered in the city: the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. variant. It's an issue the department is keeping an eye on, as the variant is known to spread more easily and quickly, and is associated with a higher risk of death, compared to other variants.