Milwaukee County’s Emergency Management Medical Director Ben Weston discussed Milwaukee’s COVID-19 developments with Milwaukee Magazine Editor and Publisher Carole Nicksin Thursday.
Weston said that the county continues to see a slight downward trend in confirmed cases. Regularly updated statistics about coronavirus cases, deaths and hospital resources can be found at the Milwaukee County Dashboard.
There has been a slight increase in cases within the Hispanic community of Milwaukee County. Weston said this trend can most likely be attributed to an increased rate of testing, as well as the continued disproportionate impact the coronavirus has on Milwaukee’s minority communities.
“The message to people in that community is the message to people throughout our county,” Weston said. “Continue social distancing.”
Wisconsin now has a goal of completing 85,000 tests per week, Weston said. Previously, only people in high-risk groups or with serious symptoms were able to get tested. As tests increase in availability, Weston said even people with milder symptoms should have the opportunity to be tested.
Weston also discussed Gov. Tony Evers’ three-phase plan to return to normal life. This plan will gradually ease the state back to normal activity, and it can only be implemented after a consistent, two-week decrease in new positive cases.
Weston said pulling back the Safer at Home Order will likely cause an increase in cases, so it is important to return to normal life gradually when the time comes.
“It’s a time for a little bit of patience — a little bit of perseverance,” Weston said. “A better day is coming.”