MILWAUKEE — The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state is on the rise once again. It is a trend that has some health officials and community leaders in Wisconsin concerned.
With the holidays around the corner, they are hoping people will listen to their plea.
"Everyone who is in this community can help us stop the spread of COVID-19 by receiving the vaccine," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
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It was on the top of everyone's minds during Milwaukee County's COVID-19 briefing Tuesday. The number of positive confirmed cases of the virus has spiked not only across Wisconsin these last two weeks, but locally as well.
"We are currently seeing in Milwaukee county an average of 256 new cases per day and about three deaths per day. In two weeks our cases have increased by 50% and our positivity rate has increased from below 6% up to 8%," said Milwaukee County's chief health policy advisor, Dr. Ben Weston.
On Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services reported almost 4,000 confirmed cases of COVID in a 24 hour period. Eight counties near the northern part of the state are also now considered to have critically high case activity levels.
"That might be because of their close proximity to Minnesota, we are seeing more cases in that area. Some people work in the Twin Cities certainly commute back into Wisconsin so that's a certain possibility," said UW Health's chief quality officer, Dr. Jeff Pothof.
So what exactly caused this spike in cases to occur? Doctors say it could be a number of things, including how there are still low vaccination rates in certain parts of the state, the recent gatherings that were held for Halloween, and that people aren't getting the recommended COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
"We have a lot of folks who are immunized who may be due for a booster. They will be able to catch COVID-19 and although they'll probably be okay, they are likely spreading it to other folks in areas where there are lower vaccination rates," said Dr. Pothof.
Now, health officials say they'll be carefully watching these case rates in the state in order to make the best recommendations possible to keep families safe as the holiday season nears.