Milwaukee Health Department adjusts services in response to COVID-19

The City of Milwaukee’s Health Department said today that it is taking measures at each of its health centers to increase social distancing and in an attempt to prevent community spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Anyone who is showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and self-quarantine, MHD said.  Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Questions about COVID-19 can be directed to 2-1-1 or milwaukee.gov/coronavirus. Those experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) should consult with their primary care provider to determine if they should get tested, MHD said.

“We know that many of the services we provide are essential to our community,” said Commissioner of Health Jeanette Kowalik. “However, it’s necessary to take these temporary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our staff is working closely with individuals and families to ensure that their needs continue to be met.”

Those impacted by a temporary reduction of services can contact MHD at (414) 286-3521 to discuss alternative options.

City of Milwaukee Health Department adjusted services, as of March 18

  •  Community Healthcare Access Program – All outreach and in person enrollment has been suspended until further notice.
  • Communicable Diseases Program – There are no service reductions at this time and the program is prioritizing its response to COVID-19.
  • Consumer Environmental Health Program – Staff are responding to foodborne illness complaints and conducting pre-inspections for new establishments.
  • Direct Assistance to Dads Project – Home visits have been have suspended until further notice. Staff are maintaining contact with families and will address their urgent needs. Referrals are still being accepted.
  • Empowering Families of Milwaukee – Home visits have been have suspended until further notice. Staff are maintaining contact with families and will address their urgent needs. Referrals are still being accepted.
  • Home Environmental Health Program – Lead investigations and risk assessments have been suspended until further notice. Nursing case management services for children with elevated blood levels are being provided remotely. Cases will continue to be monitored.
  • Immunization Clinic – Clinics have been closed until further notice.
  • Newborn Screening – Services are being provided on a case by case basis.
  • Milwaukee Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness Program – Services are suspended until further notice. Clients with immediate needs are receiving ongoing case management services.
  • Parents and Nurturing and Caring for Their Children – Home visits have been have suspended until further notice. Staff are working remotely and will be available by phone. Referrals are still being accepted.
  • Public Health Laboratory – There are no service reductions at this time due to COVID-19 testing and essential services testing.
  • Safe Sleep Clinics – All clinics and trainings have been suspended until further notice.
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic – STI screening, emergency contraception, and condom distribution only. Treatment of confirmed positive results by appointment. No same day treatment.
  • Strong Baby Program – All in-person training and technical support have been suspended until further notice. Staff will be available remotely to provide technical support.
  • TB Clinic – Minimal changes to services, but clients may see a delay in scheduling appointments.
  • Violence Prevention – Services are being maintained, with minimal disruption. Staff are working remotely and will be available by phone.
  • Vital Records (Birth and Death Certificates) – No changes to service provision.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program – WIC clinics are open to provide services but no more than 10 individuals can be at the clinic. Some benefits can be provided remotely.

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Andrew Weiland is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Weiland is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, and son, Zachary. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams.