Health officials have identified nearly 500 coronavirus cases statewide that could be linked to the large crowds that gathered in downtown Milwaukee as fans cheered on the Bucks’ run to the NBA championship.
Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson says contact tracing and testing for cases associated with those gatherings continues with the help of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Officials say 491 people with confirmed or probable cases said they had attended the Deer District or a Bucks game “during their exposure or infectious periods.” But DHS could not say definitively that they caught the virus while viewing the game downtown or elsewhere.
State health officials say, “We are likely under-counting or under-representing cases who attended and then got sick but did not report” their illness or the fact that they attended those events. As the Bucks’ celebrations were playing out, there was already concern over the combination of massive crowds and COVID-19.
“Dr. Fauci is cringing at home as he’s watching our game,” an NBA announcer said during a broadcast. Per the Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee health officials said the city has reached the “extreme transmission” category with 193.2 cases per 100,000 people as of Tuesday, with four times as many people hospitalized with COVID in Wisconsin as they were one month ago.
Johnson reportedly urged residents to get tested if they have attended any more large gatherings: “I think it is important to recognize that any time there is a large gathering of people, we are going to see the virus spread,” Johnson said during a Tuesday COVID-19 briefing.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BANGOR DAILY NEWS
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