In this March 17, 2020 photo an Oregon women helps her sons with online lessons. Craig Mitchelldyer / AP Photo
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Today we highlight a story from The Washington Post that calls Wisconsin a microcosm for the intense forces colliding in America during a pandemic that overlaps with a high-stakes presidential election. 

“To understand the forces roiling American politics this year, there’s one state that seems to have them all,” reports Griff Witte. “Wisconsin has one of the nation’s fastest growing coronavirus infection rates. It has a government wracked by toxic division along partisan lines. Its top court is dominated by conservatives quick to side with Republican legislators. Its election system is under scrutiny and has already faltered. One of its largest cities has become a byword for racial injustice — and for deadly riots.”

The report comes as Wisconsin surpassed another dark milestone Monday: 200,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the state Department of Health Services. 

DHS reported 10 news deaths on Monday, bringing the state’s total COVID-19 death toll to 1,788. 

Top Stories

In this March 17, 2020 photo an Oregon women helps her sons with online lessons. Craig Mitchelldyer / AP Photo

From coronavirus to race to the economy, Wisconsin is a microcosm of the forces roiling AmericaThe Washington Post 

Frustrated health officials warn against false optimism, saying pandemic may not be quelled until well into 2021Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

COVID, jail not sharing information has made attorneys less willing to work as public defendersJournal Times 

UW-Madison estimates $320 million in lost revenue due to COVID-19 pandemic WPR 

Game day in Green Bay: empty sports bars, full hospitalsThe New York Times

Milwaukee cracking down on bars, businesses as city sees uptick in COVID-19 casesCBS 58  

As COVID-19 shifts many schools to online learning, families flock to virtual charter schools WPR 

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“The best precaution people can take is to continue to take the pandemic seriously and to practice preventative measures that can reduce the likelihood of transmission. President Trump’s rallies increase the risk of COVID-19 person-to-person infections, and they give a false impression that COVID-19 is no longer with us.”

— Open letter signed by more than 20 Wisconsin physicians ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally planned for Tuesday in West Salem, Wisconsin

“Many of our state’s veterans are older, and with conditions that put them in a high-risk category for complications from COVID-19. Many live in rural areas, where COVID-19 is now rapidly spreading, and are also far from a hospital. And there are veterans who live at our Wisconsin’s Veterans Homes, nursing homes where we fight every day to keep them safe from the virus. Please, for those who have served our country and those who support them, I ask you to join me in the fight: stay home when possible, mask up and stay six feet away from others when you go out, and wash hands frequently.”

—Mary Kolar, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, writing for the Kenosha News

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

Wisconsin continues to set daily records for COVID-19 hospitalizations as the state fails to control the coronavirus. The Wisconsin Hospital Association on Monday reported 1,350 hospital patients with COVID-19 — up from 1,295 a day earlier. Here are the latest trends from WHA’s dashboard.

Just 227 of 1,469 ICU beds statewide were immediately available on Monday, according to the dashboard. 

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:

Badger Football fans adapt to COVID-19 rules for unusual home opener WTMJ-TV

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