MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County has transitioned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "high" COVID-19 community level Thursday, according to Dr. Ben Weston.
Dr. Weston, the Chief Health Policy Advisor for Milwaukee County, shared the news on Twitter, citing the rise of the latest COVID-19 variant, BA.5.
According to Dr. Weston, Milwaukee County has seen an increase in all thee measures: case rates, hospitalizations, and hospital capacity.
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#Milwaukee County— with unfortunate increases in all three measures - case rates, hospitalizations and hospital capacity— we are now back to the high 🟠 CDC #COVID community level.— Ben Weston MD MPH 😷 💉 (@BenWWeston) July 14, 2022
BA.5 is no joke.
Be sure you are up to date on vaccines & boosters and #MaskUp indoors. pic.twitter.com/dSPM7YvQcG
Nearly two-and-a-half years since the beginning of the pandemic, BA.5 is now the dominant strain not only in Wisconsin, but nationwide. On Tuesday, WHO's Emergency Committee said COVID-19 is still a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
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As previously reported, the most common symptoms of the new variant are runny nose, sore throat, headache, persistent cough, and fatigue. The main concern is it appears to evade protection from vaccines and previous COVID-19 infections more easily than previous variants.
Due to the surge of BA.5, Dr. Weston and Dr. Dan Shirley, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UW Health, recommend wearing a mask again while inside busy public spaces close to others.