A sign is posted on the campus of Marquette University at the corner of 15th and Wells streets for COVID-19 awareness and testing on Monday, Sept. 29, 2020.
A sign is posted on the campus of Marquette University at the corner of 15th and Wells streets for COVID-19 awareness and testing on Monday, Sept. 29, 2020. Angela Peterson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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COVID-19 cases continued to surge across Wisconsin over the weekend and into Monday, filling up hospital beds and casting an ominous spotlight on the politically paralyzed state. 

“In the past week, Wisconsin has crashed through its own coronavirus records, reporting more cases and more COVID-19 hospitalizations than it has at any time since the pandemic began,” Robinson Meyer reported Saturday for The Atlantic. “It now ranks among the top states in new cases per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is reporting more new cases, in absolute terms, than all states but California, Texas, and Florida.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlights Northeast Wisconsin as a particularly hard-hit region. 

“The surge of cases and hospitalizations in Northeast Wisconsin is unlike anything the region has experienced since the pandemic began,” reporters Sophie Carson and Madeline Heim wrote. “Green Bay and Fox Valley-area hospitals are near capacity, and local resources are strained as case rates rise at a nearly exponential rate. Slowed growth among college-aged people has been more than replaced by rapid increases among other age groups.”

Meanwhile, the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a lawsuit Monday to halt Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate, one of few pandemic-fighting tools Evers, a Democrat, has wielded since the conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court limited his administration’s public health-related powers in May.

“The lawsuit alleges that state law forbids a governor from unilaterally extending a public health emergency beyond 60 days or by declaring multiple emergencies in response to the same crisis,” Riley Vetterkind reports for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Top Stories

A sign is posted on the campus of Marquette University at the corner of 15th and Wells streets for COVID-19 awareness and testing on Monday, Sept. 29, 2020. Angela Peterson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin is on the brink of a major outbreak— The Atlantic 

State reports nearly 22% positive coronavirus tests as outbreak in northeast Wisconsin worsens — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Conservative legal group asks court to immediately halt enforcement of statewide mask mandate — Wisconsin State Journal

With time running out, bids for Wisconsin’s federal COVID-19 relief intensify — Wisconsin State Journal

US colleges struggle to salvage semester amid outbreaks — Associated Press

Brown County coronavirus: De Pere Mayor James Boyd says he has the virus — Green Bay Press-Gazette

Brown Co. to release list of businesses and events that break COVID-19 safety guidelines — Fox 11 News

 How easily does coronavirus spread among children? And 12 more answers to your questions — Associated Press 

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

“It’s not the time to throw in the towel and say, ‘what the heck, I’m just going to live my life.’ ”

Bellin Health CEO Chris Woleske, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about people who are choosing to socialize as normal as COVID-19 keeps spreading 

Food Access Trouble?

We know that when classes are virtual, many Wisconsin students and families lose access to food schools provide. And as the school year starts, some meal sites are closing. Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media. Click here for details.

You can also view a list of Milwaukee-area food distribution sites for students here.

Data to note

La Crosse is second on the New York Times Upshot’s list of 20 U.S. metro areas with the greatest number of new COVID-19 cases. Five other Wisconsin communities occupy positions on the list, which is adjusted for population. They are:

  • Oshkosh-Neenah
  • Green Bay
  • Appleton
  • Platteville
  • Stevens Point

Meanwhile, five Wisconsin communities sit on the Upshot’s list of 20 metro areas where new cases are rising the fastest, adjusted for population. They are:

  • Marinette
  • Green Bay
  • Oshkosh-Neenah
  • Racine
  • Wausau-Weston

Wisconsin continues to set daily records for COVID-19 hospitalizations as cases continue to surge. Hospitals statewide reported 640 COVID-19 patients on Monday, more than 40% above the state’s previous peak in April. 

Here are the latest data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

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.

‘Blessed by being outside’: Madison church innovates, finds community, in outdoor services — Wisconsin State Journal 

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