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The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating another public health crisis: addiction to drugs, particularly opioids.
Edgar Mendez of our partner Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reports that drug overdose deaths in Milwaukee County are on pace to shatter last year’s record high of 418 as the COVID-19 pandemic leaves many people out of work and creates roadblocks for recovery. Other Wisconsin communities are also seeing spikes. Opioids contributed to 80% of the Milwaukee County deaths, and 68% were tied specifically to fentanyl.
Milwaukee County on pace to top overdose record again in 2020 — Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Brown County has state’s most workplaces under COVID-19 investigation, records show — Green Bay Press Gazette
Data to note
COVID Act Now, a national model run by volunteer scientists, offers this interactive look at Wisconsin’s efforts to fight the virus. COVID-19 was “still spreading but slowly” as of Thursday, and the percentage of positive tests was considered low. That suggests “enough widespread, aggressive testing in Wisconsin to detect most new cases,” the website reported. Hospital intensive care units could likely handle a new wave of the virus, but contact tracing was insufficient to stop the spread of COVID-19, the website said.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebrations will go on despite coronavirus — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) 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.