Mariah Clark is seen on her porch at her home in Madison, Wis. She often sits outside and listens to morning songbirds after finishing her 3 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. shift at UW Hospital. Courtesy of Mariah Clark
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Drug overdoses, danger and conspiracies abound as COVID-19 pandemic continues; environmental enforcement lags; partisan divide opens over absentee voting

Of note: This week we highlight our latest Outbreak Wisconsin installment in partnership with WPR. As Wisconsin moves to reopen, Madison emergency room nurse Mariah Clark says the battle against COVID-19 is far from over. “This pandemic,” she says, “has yet to declare itself.”

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup 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. 

Want even more news about how the pandemic is reshaping the state? Subscribe to our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update.

Thanks for reading!

To have the free Wisconsin Weekly newsletter (as well as story alerts and news about the Center) delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here! You can change your preferences at any time

Mariah Clark is seen on her porch at her home in Madison, Wis. She often sits outside and listens to morning songbirds after finishing her 3 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. shift at UW Hospital. Courtesy of Mariah Clark

‘This pandemic has yet to declare itself’: ER nurse reflects on the fight against coronavirus as the state prepares to open

WPR/Wisconsin Watch — May 14, 2020

As the rate of positive COVID-19 tests begins to drop in Wisconsin — and the state Supreme Court overturns the statewide Safer at Home order —  momentum is growing to reopen the state. But frontline health care workers like Mariah Clark remain in the thick of things. Hear the latest installment of Outbreak Wisconsin.

While COVID-19 has spotlight, emergency physician calls attention to drug overdose deaths

WPR — May 14, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic has captured the world’s attention, other public health crises have continued to take a toll as well. The ongoing opioid crisis, while by no means over, has seen some positive strides in recent years. But concerns about major setbacks because of the coronavirus outbreak are high. 

Signs posted in December by Public Health Madison & Dane County caution against consuming water from Starkweather Creek, which is contaminated with hazardous chemicals known as PFAS. Officials have yet to post notice of a health advisory issued earlier this month for consumption of fish from the creek. Chris Hubbuch / Wisconsin State Journal Archives

Wisconsin’s relaxed environmental rules lead to calls for transparency

Wisconsin State Journal — May 10, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic response has hindered environmental monitoring and cleanup. But a lack of transparency measures make it impossible to know the full impact of state and federal emergency policies.

Most Wisconsin Democrats say they plan to vote by mail this year. Most Republicans say they plan to go the polls

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — May 12, 2020

As Wisconsin residents ponder their voting options during the ongoing pandemic, a partisan divide has emerged over absentee balloting. 

Ajay Sethi, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of its Master of Public Health program is pictured outside his home in Madison, Wis., on May 8. Ruthie Hauge / The Cap Times

As COVID-19 spreads, so do conspiracy theories. A Wisconsin professor teaches ways to confront them.

The Cap Times/Wisconsin Watch — May 11, 2020

Ajay Sethi prepares future health practitioners for thorny conversations to help patients make better decisions about coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

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.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

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.