The Milwaukee north shore’s COVID-19 community transmission rate has been labeled “high” by the North Shore Health Department. Everyone should wear a mask indoors when in public, even if fully vaccinated, said the department’s interim health officer, Kathleen Platt, RN, BSN.
Platt acknowledged that “everyone is tired of masking and taking precautions,” but said it’s important to follow the recommendation, which is in line with Centers for Disease Control recommendations. The CDC recommends mask wearing indoors when in public in areas of substantial or high community transmission. Platt said this applies to her department’s coverage area, which includes the communities of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay.
COVID-19 community transmission is considered high when it’s above 50 cases per 100,000 in a week, and recent numbers have been “well over that,” Platt said. On Aug. 4, the North Shore Health Department reported 120 cases per 100,000 in its coverage area for the week ending Aug. 3. The North Shore Health Department also labeled Milwaukee County as “high,” with 226 cases per 100,000 in the same period.
“Mask wearing in and of itself is one method to reduce the spread of covid,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control maintains a graphic which colors areas of “high” community transmission red, with “substantial” transmission colored orange. The CDC map on Aug. 4 showed southeast Wisconsin, and some other regions of the state, colored red and orange for high and substantial transmission rates, respectively.
The CDC advises that fully vaccinated people should “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” This is to “maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others .…”