Doctors say people should buckle down on COVID-19 measures to slow Wisconsin’s surge

NOW: Doctors say people should buckle down on COVID-19 measures to slow Wisconsin’s surge

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) - The new confirmed cases in the state between Tuesday and Wednesday is alarming to doctors. They say people must double down now in order to slow the surge in COVID-19 cases. Doctors in the area say these numbers should be a wakeup call to be more vigilant.

Back in June the Wisconsin DHS reported a seven day average of 3-percent positivity rate, but as of Tuesday that 7-day average is more than 20-percent.

“It’s easy to get frustrated because again we want our previous normal that we knew right? But we’re in a new reality now,” said Dr. Aronica Williams, Chief Medical Officer for Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.

With the state seeing more than 6,300 new confirmed cases Tuesday and Wednesday combined, doctors say they’re concerned community spread is running rampant.

“The disease is still there and the community spread is actually getting more prevalent, it’s not dying down,” said Dr. Minhaj Husain, an infectious disease physician at Advocate Aurora Healthcare’s St. Luke Medical Center.

“How quickly we recover really is going to be dependent on how quickly we respond,” said Dr. Williams.

Experts say along with masking, handwashing and distancing, people can take more steps to slow the spread by avoiding any crowds and educating others.

“I strongly encourage people to avoid crowds of any kind even if you’re wearing a mask, avoid gatherings” said Dr. Laura Cassidy, epidemiologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“I would like to see us do that on our own rather than having to roll back,” adds Dr. Williams.

Dr. Husain says while the numbers now are alarming, it will get worse.

“I don’t think we’ve necessarily seen the peak yet in terms of numbers itself, I think we’re going to see a lot more numbers unfortunately we’ll see more mortality as well,” said Dr. Husain.

Dr. Cassidy says if people buckle down, the Milwaukee area could see a slowing down in cases within weeks to months.

“Stay home as much as possible I think you know like with the mask mandate in Milwaukee, we can slow it down pretty quickly,” says Dr. Cassidy.

I still think there’s a certain degree of lack of respect and education,” said Dr. Husain. “It’s important people acknowledge this as a potentially deadly virus”

Dr. Husain says his concern is if the area does not start doubling down and the surge continues the way it’s going, we could easily overwhelm our area healthcare systems quickly, especially with flu season now in effect.

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