MILWAUKEE COUNTY — After months of declining COVID numbers, cases in Milwaukee County have begun to head in the wrong direction.
From July 21 to 27, the county's epidemiology report showed 971 new confirmed cases, which is nearly 11 times higher than three weeks ago.
194 new cases were among kids under 18 years old, nearly 9 times higher than three weeks ago. Doctors and health professionals have said the biggest thing right now is the highly contagious delta variant.
"The people that are infected are tossing out more virus around them so it's easier to catch, that's where we still recommend vaccinating kids 12 and older," said Dr. Kevin Dahlman, medical director of Aurora Children's Health.
Dr. Dahlman said it is hard to tell what role large outdoor events play in the trends.
With more people getting together these days, Dahlman encouraged returning to some kind of normalcy saying it is important, but do not drop those prevention measures indoors or outdoors.
"I don't know if I would be so brazen to say every single possibility is a super spreader event, but it certainly increases the risk. That's why it's best to reduce the risk when you can by wearing a mask if you're in those tightly confined spaces even if outdoors," Dr. Dahlman said.
Milwaukee's Health Department has been working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to collect data on any links to large Bucks gatherings and COVID cases since many people came from outside the city.
With concerts and festivals still on the summer schedule, the city's health commissioner Kirsten Johnson continued to encourage vaccinations.
"That is our way out of this that is how we stop the spread so we are strongly encouraging please please get vaccinated. And if you are in a large group wear a mask," Johnson said.
Health professionals have maintained that while people who are fully vaccinated could still contract the virus, the vaccine is highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.