Angie Fenhouse puts two 12-inch decorated cookies out on display with other Thanksgiving-themed bakery items at the Metro Market in Brookfield at 127th and Capitol Drive. Micheal Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Tuesday reported 104 new deaths linked to COVID-19 — another record single-day tally as public health officials and overwhelmed hospital workers continue to urge Wisconsinites to avoid even small Thanksgiving gatherings that could increase infections and deaths. 

Tuesday’s death tally comes after DHS reported just six deaths across Sunday and Monday, signaling a possible lag in reporting.  

“Whether it’s 104 today and that’s spread over the last three days or the last 24 hours, it is 104 deaths that were preventable — and remind us that we need to do everything we can to stop the spread of this disease,” DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm told reporters Tuesday.

DHS has now recorded 3,115 lives lost to the pandemic in Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin’s daily count of infections and hospitalizations have slightly dipped in recent days after skyrocketing for more than two months. But Palm noted that Wisconsin’s 7-day average infection count (5,732) remains on par with New York City’s average during its devastating COVID-19 peak in April. And patients continue to overwhelm Wisconsin hospitals, raising the prospects of needing to ration care. 

“We certainly are happy to see slight declines in some of our numbers, but we are far from out of the woods, and people need to double down,” Palm said. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, she added: “The best way we can say ‘thank you’ to the health care and public health workers in our state is to stay home, wear a mask, physically distance and wash our hands.”

Top Stories

Angie Fenhouse puts two 12-inch decorated cookies out on display with other Thanksgiving-themed bakery items at the Metro Market in Brookfield at 127th and Capitol Drive. Micheal Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

‘Not sure how long we can hold the line’: With hospitals full, doctors and scientists beg Wisconsinites to stay home for Thanksgiving — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Nearly 300 Wisconsin nursing home residents died from COVID-19 in four weeks, 10 times more than the month before — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

As Wisconsin’s COVID-19 crisis deepens, school nurses step up — WPR 

Officials: High coronavirus community spread remains greatest threat to Wisconsin veterans homes — WPR 

Thanksgiving could make or break US coronavirus response — Associated Press 

City of Racine announces stricter rules amid ‘seemingly uncontrolled spread’ of the coronavirus — Journal Times 

COVID Dial Back Has Minnesotans Flocking To Wisconsin Bars And Restaurants — CBS Minnesota

Gophers’ COVID-19 situation puts football game at Wisconsin in doubt — Wisconsin State Journal 

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

“My kids listen, at least to this advice. They get it: They wear masks when I remind them, without complaining. They follow social distancing guidelines even though they would rather not. … My prayer for our city, state and country is that we listen to good advice. That we wear our masks, work or go to school from home whenever possible and get the influenza vaccine now and COVID-19 vaccine when available.  I pray that we transcend politics and leave that to the electoral process. Germs do not have political parties.”

— Dr. Jason Hoppe, a primary care physician and hospitalist in Green Bay, writing for the Green Bay Press-Gazette

“Statistics are people with the tears wiped away.”

— Dr. Patrick Remington, professor emeritus and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Preventive Medicine Residency Program, in a tweet referencing Wisconsin’s COVID-19 death toll of more than 3,000 and counting

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Calculate your exposure risk

In Wisconsin, even small gatherings this holiday season can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here.

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

Enjoying a Slacker Thanksgiving this year — Kenosha News 

‘We couldn’t be more thankful’: Local residents express gratitude despite challenging year — Janesville Gazette 

Chalk It Up event gives thanks, shows appreciation for teachers —  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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.

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