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Today we highlight our story about the rapidly shifting landscape in rural Wisconsin as families and schools cope with the surging COVID-19 pandemic.
Reporter Peter Cameron found that while most of Wisconsin’s rural districts began the school year with in-person classes, many have been forced to convert to virtual or hybrid systems — at least temporarily — as the pandemic infiltrates small towns and rural areas.
More than 15,000 children ages 17 or younger have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Wisconsin, while nearly 500 schools have been investigated for outbreaks, according to the state Department of Health Services. Nevertheless, research is showing that the vast majority of children do not suffer the worst effects of the coronavirus. And the extent to which they may spread the coronavirus is still unclear.
Wisconsin schools ‘whipsawing’ as COVID-19 hits rural districts — Wisconsin Watch
Some West De Pere students protest district’s return to in-person schooling — Green Bay Press-Gazette
COVID-19 testing site open in Highbridge Thursday; Ashland County out of flu vaccine — Ashland Daily Press
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
Eight Wisconsin communities still sit on The New York Times’ list of 20 U.S. metro areas with the most new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, adjusted for population. They are:
- Green Bay
- Fond du Lac
- Beaver Dam
Multiple Wisconsin metro areas have sat on the list for weeks.
“Wisconsin is an epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S. and has been for over two weeks,” Dr. John Raymond, president of the Medical College of Wisconsin, said according to WisPolitics.com.
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.
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.