COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County increase 10-fold, doctors say it is showing no signs of slowing

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - A new wave of COVID-19 infections in Milwaukee County and around the state has come doctors worried about what's to come.

Cases in Milwaukee County have increased 10-fold in the past few weeks alone.

"We're seeing a threefold increase in hospitalizations already," Dr. Ben Weston said.

Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Health Department is growing increasingly concerned about the number of COVID cases as numbers are showing no signs of slowing down.

"Our positivity has increased 8-fold, over 15 percent. That's higher than we saw at any point in the delta surge," Dr. Weston said.

This new wave is likely driven by the new subvariant B.A.2.12.1 which Dr. Weston said is extremely contagious.

"we're seeing more and more of it in Wisconsin. I think that's going to prolong this increase in cases we're seeing now currently," he said.

On Monday, DHS recommended people know their COVID-19 community level and take precautions. Milwaukee County is currently in the medium risk. But, Racine and Kenosha are currently in red.

"Immunity seems to fade very quickly, in a matter of months," Dr. Jeff Pothof said.

Dr. Jeff Pothof with UW Health said now is a good time to get your booster shot. He said people who previously had COVID just months ago are already getting reinfected with this new variant.

"Everyone can get symptoms nowadays. Folks who've had COVID previously, they get variable immunity. Some get pretty good; some get none at all," he said.

Tuesday, the FDA authorized the use of the kids ages 5-11 Pfizer booster shot. With this new surge, Dr. Pothof said parents should also start to consider getting their child boosted. The CDC will vote to authorize it next.

"Even though kids don't get as sick as adults do, the booster shot does protect against really severe illness and some kids do get really sick and I'm not going to take that chance with my kid," Dr. Pothof said.

The White House is offering a third round of at-home tests. You can order those at www.covid.gov/tests or by calling 1-800-232-0233.

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