Incoming patient specimens to be tested for the COVID-19 virus are processed April 10 at UW Health. John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.

You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism. 

Today we highlight the Cap Times’ deep dive into why Wisconsin labs are still unable to test for COVID-19 at their reported capacity — a key issue as state leaders decided how and when to reopen the economy. Gov. Tony Evers has announced a goal of 12,000 tests a day, far more than the roughly 2,000 daily tests the state is currently conducting, Katelyn Ferral reports. She also notes several categories of information Evers’ administration has kept secret.

“DHS will not disclose the labs with whom they have contracted, which include some from out of state, nor break down the numbers of each type of lab, whether commercial labs, in-house hospital labs or government labs. There is also no information on the website about how much testing each lab is currently doing,” Ferral reports.

Top Stories

Incoming patient specimens to be tested for the COVID-19 virus are processed April 10 at UW Health. John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

State labs could test more COVID-19 samples but supply shortage hampers effortsThe Cap Times 

Federal government orders 100,000 new body bags as Trump minimizes death tollNBC News

Gov. Tony Evers considering using some COVID-19 money for aid payments to farmersMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

As more Wisconsinites leave home, health experts warn against ending social distancingWPR 

‘You can see the fear written all over them’: Two Milwaukee-based respiratory therapists talk about what it’s like on the front linesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Wisconsin businesses urge lawmakers to pass ‘Back to Business’ planWisconsin State Journal 

Wisconsin tribes take issue with native corporations that are eligible for $8B coronavirus reliefWPR 

Burlington mayor rebukes ‘Re-Open Burlington’ protest planned for SaturdayKenosha News 

What are we missing? And how are you coping? Help us provide critical information and accountability by filling out this form or emailing us at

Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Live updates

Live coverage from USA Today-Wisconsin reporters

Live coverage from Wisconsin State Journal reporters


“It’s like being in a swimming pool and having one area of the pool that it’s OK to pee in.”

Jim Conway, an infectious disease expert and associate director for health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Global Health Institute, arguing against loosening COVID-19 restrictions regionally. Conway was quoted by USA Today-Wisconsin reporters who noted expert opinions differ on the issue.

Data to note

A team of infectious disease experts expects the COVID-19 pandemic to last 18-24 months, and it “won’t be halted until 60% to 70% of the population is immune.” That is according to a report released Friday by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. 

“The key message of this report is that the COVID-19 pandemic likely will not end anytime soon, if any of the scenarios we have outlined come to pass,” Michael Osterholm, the center’s director, said in a news release. “We need to be prepared to deal with this pandemic and its ‘aftershocks’ for 18 months or more. It’s also likely that the virus will remain with us once the pandemic is over—likely in a less severe form and following more of a seasonal pattern.”

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

‘This is for you, baby’: Police, fire and more put on parade for 13-year-old girl in hospiceMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Virtual meditation to help kids cope with COVID-19 isolationWTMJ-TV 

Local organization going door-to-door delivering children’s books for freeWTMJ-TV

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Update may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

Popular stories from Wisconsin Watch

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.