Rising number of older children getting COVID-19 in Milwaukee County

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Jul 21, 2020

MILWAUKEE COUNTY — Wisconsin is seeing a big rise in coronavirus cases. In particular, Milwaukee County is seeing a huge jump in COVID-19 cases with a new age group, older children.

“Milwaukee County is trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for Milwaukee County.

This latest increase in COVID-19 positive cases seems to be coming from an age group that doctors first thought were at low risk of transmitting the virus. Now, a new study out of South Korea finds children between the ages of 10-19 can contract and spread COVID-19 at the same rates adults do.

“We in Milwaukee County we are seeing a dramatic 84 percent increase in cases in the 10-19 age group in the last two weeks,” said Weston.

Despite the increase in children testing positive for the coronavirus, Wisconsin health officials are not sure how that will affect schools in the fall. So far, they are only recommending each school district follow the guidance from their local health departments.

”If we continue to see the trends that we see right now, then it's not probably going to be a good situation in the fall either. We continue to monitor and analyze the data to help school boards to make decisions but enough is not really known about transmission in school to know what that means,” said Stephanie Smiley, interim administrator at Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

State and local health leaders say there is no one particular place or type of business contributing to the spread of COVID-19 among older children, but they are finding social gatherings continue to drive the numbers up.

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