'It would work:' Infectious disease expert says following guidelines could stop state's COVID-19 surge
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- New COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the state of Wisconsin.
Daily cases and the positivity rate are twice what they were just a few weeks ago.
One health expert we spoke with says she'd like to call this a second save, but isn't sure we got out of the first one.
What she does know is we already have the tools to stop this surge, if we would just do it.
Wisconsin is losing the battle with COVID-19.
The number of daily cases that were trending down at the end of August has skyrocketed to double and even triple what it was.
Wisconsin ranks third worst in the country for new cases, and 18-24-year-olds are leading the way.
"What seems to be driving our total numbers seems to be that age group," said infectious disease expert, Dr. Mary Beth Graham. "I mean it is dramatic the weekly case numbers that went up."
It started when students went back to college. Those numbers have slowed, and other age groups are now taking a hit, but Dr. Graham wonders if the surge in young people getting infected is now branching out.
But with mask mandates and capacity limits, why are we losing this fight?
Dr. Graham says the answer is simple -- people just aren't following the guidelines.
"If we did it, it would work. I hate to say it that way, but if we did it, it would work."
Ignoring the problem could lead to a worse-case sceniario.
A recent Harvard study says Wisconsin is one of four states that needs to go back into lockdown right away.
It's not what people want to hear six months into this pandemic, but the honest truth is it's not going anywhere for a long time.
"We aren't close to the end, it's not magically going to go away, and even when there's a vaccine, it's not going to magically go away."
Unlike early in this pandemic, Milwaukee is not leading the increase.
The hotspot right now is northeastern Wisconsin, where hospitals are seeing more cases than ever before.