Brienna Wagner, center, wears a mask while sitting at an outdoor table with Andy Wagner on Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Waukesha. Credit: Angela Major / WPR
Credit: 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. 

Wisconsinites who are struggling to pay their utility bills during the pandemic will get an extended reprieve.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission voted 2-1 Thursday to extend the state’s moratorium on shutoffs of electricity, gas or water services until Oct. 1, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“Almost 1.4 million households — 32.9% of the total — were behind on their bills in July, together owing nearly $229 million, according to the PSC’s survey of nearly 200 utilities,” Chris Hubbuch reports. “For comparison, fewer than 13% of residential customers were behind in April of the previous two years, although those past-due balances averaged about $186 million.”

Some 93,673 residential customers were slated to lose service without a moratorium extension, Hubbuch reports. That included 7,500 customers who were at risk of losing water.

Top Stories

Brienna Wagner, center, wears a mask while sitting at an outdoor table with Andy Wagner on Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Waukesha. Credit: Angela Major / WPR

Wisconsin regulators extend shutoff ban; one third of households behind on utility billsWisconsin State Journal 

Students, families try to make decisions about coming back to college despite endless questionsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin organizations brace for ‘tsunami of evictions and homelessness’ this fallWPR  

How misinformation, federalism and selfishness hampered America’s virus responseStateline 

Wisconsin restaurant owner facing deep uncertainty about winter business WPR 

Record demand for food pantries continuesWKOW-TV 

Gundersen cardiologist offers thoughts on study suggesting COVID-19 may cause lingering cardiac consequencesLa Crosse Tribune 

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 tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Quotable

“Based off the community spread, because we have high community transmission in this state, we can expect that there will be school outbreaks.”

Traci DeSalvo, acting director of the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases, as quoted by WISN-TV

Data to note

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

!function(e,i,n,s){var t=”InfogramEmbeds”,d=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(“script”);o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=”https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”);
!function(e,i,n,s){var t=”InfogramEmbeds”,d=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(“script”);o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=”https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”);
!function(e,i,n,s){var t=”InfogramEmbeds”,d=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(“script”);o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=”https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”);

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: tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Pick-your-own apple orchards are taking precautions, but they’re open for business during the pandemicMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

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.

Wisconsin Watch

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