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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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As the state Department of Workforce Development struggles to handle a surge of unemployment claims during the pandemic, many out-of-work Wisconsinites are growing increasingly desperate — finding themselves forced to make impossible choices — as they wait for their benefits to arrive, Laura Schulte reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

“More than 500,000 claims for unemployment have yet to be processed — a number that doesn’t include people who haven’t even been able to file a claim, either because of struggles connecting with the DWD or navigating the online application system,” Schulte reports.

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Homeless for months after contending with a debilitating health condition, Victor Jamrock, 53, has been spending his nights along State Street. From his perch in Lisa Link Peace Park on Thursday, the former industrial mechanic said he will be looking for a new place to stay overnight after he was asked to leave earlier in the day. Madison is now allowing homeless people to camp in certain parks, though not likely Lisa Link.

‘It’s been a rough ride’: Delays in unemployment claims leave some jobless Wisconsinites without money for food, billsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Pregnant black women navigate two public health crises during COVID-19 in MilwaukeeThe Fuller Project

Tony Evers unveils COVID-19 guidelines for businesses; official reopening of economy remains uncertainWisconsin State Journal 

Wisconsin near 400 COVID deaths: Men over 70 with health issues; obesity common among younger victims.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Number of COVID-19 deaths is based on actual reports; Flu deaths are estimatesWPR 

Wisconsin hospitals and clinics are planning how to bring patients back after thousands of postponed doctor visits and surgeriesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Madison to let homeless camp in certain parks and greenways during COVID-19 pandemicWisconsin State Journal 

Student nurses welcome challenge to prepare for career amid COVID-19 crisisKenosha News

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U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

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“We are making societal decisions where we’re basically weighing deaths with other civil rights or economic rights. We will have to make a decision that weighs the economics, civil rights and so on against people’s right to live, literally, and not just their own lives, because they can infect others.”

Dietram Scheufele, professor of science communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as quoted by The Cap Times

Data to note

Here is a look at Wisconsin’s dramatic surge in unemployment insurance claims during the pandemic — last week’s claims compared to those during the same week in 2019, according to state Department of Workforce Development figures. Claims totals now range 194% higher than the average number of weekly claims received during the first year of the Great Recession, the department said Thursday. But thousands of other jobless people are struggling to get into the system.

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:

‘She gave me hope’: Nurse helped Judge Derek Mosley through a harrowing night in ICU on his way to surviving coronavirusMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Is graduation the same without hugs and crowds? Wisconsin schools are trying to replicate the feeling with virtual or drive-in ceremoniesAppleton Post Crescent 

IN PHOTOS: Kenosha County rocks in face masksKenosha News

Hearts of Hope, more heart windows from around Racine CountyJournal Times

From left, Amaya Diaz, Mary Rogers, Grace Paul and Katie Arneson walk down State Street in Madison, Wis., in their cap and gowns on May 8, 2020. The four roommates are graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 9, and said they wanted to do something that felt special, even though their graduation ceremonies had been canceled.

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