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Milwaukee County leaders work to minimize COVID-19 testing issue

NOW: Milwaukee County leaders work to minimize COVID-19 testing issue

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Cases of COVID-19 are now nearing 500 in Milwaukee County.

City and county officials are working to minimize the issue of testing at the local level.

Mayor Tom Barrett says it’s about equity and access.

“This has to be a situation where there is no differential between whether you have a personal physician or you don’t, and that’s one of the issues that we face in the city of Milwaukee," Barrett said.

Part of the planning is determining what local health systems have and already need.

“That capacity issue, understanding as we get more patients, which looking at our numbers we do expect to, how to avoid situations like what’s happening in New York," Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

County authorities say people can still go for walks and handle essential business.

But they will enforce social distancing rules in public spaces.

“It really is the difference between how many lives we save and how many lives we lose," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said.

Though we are mostly in our homes, they say this is not a time to be divided.

“The more time we spend looking for ways to work together and help each other the better chance we’ve got. And again, that means stay home," Abele said.

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