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With the tumultuous presidential election (mostly) in the rearview mirror, Congress on Wednesday closed in on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package to benefit ailing businesses and millions of Americans who lost work to the pandemic, USA TODAY reports.
“The looming deal would restart a boost to federal unemployment insurance benefits and provide some form of relief for state and local governments,” reports Nicholas Wu, citing an unnamed source. “Liability protections, a hurdle in negotiations when Republicans insisted they be included in any deal, are not likely to be in this package, the source said, though lawmakers continued to negotiate.”
U.S. Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, said stimulus checks of $600 or $700 — “double that for family and kids” — were part of the negotiations, Wu reports, along with $300 per week to boost unemployment benefits.
Stimulus checks part of looming COVID-19 relief deal as Congress finalizes negotiations — USA TODAY
‘They’re boiling over’: 9 months of COVID-19 push Wisconsin families to a breaking point — WPR
‘Every single one of them changed lives’: 6 nuns at Greenfield convent die of COVID-19 — WPR
COVID-19 vaccination ramps up in Wisconsin but will take months — Wisconsin State Journal
Most Wisconsin nursing homes likely to wait two weeks to get COVID-19 vaccine — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
First COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Green Bay for Prevea Health and HSHS health care workers — Green Bay Press-Gazette
State’s testing of city wastewater could help Janesville track virus — Janesville Gazette
Lie of the Year: Coronavirus downplay and denial — PolitiFact Wisconsin
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Data to note
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. New documented COVID-19 infections have continued to decline from a pre-Thanksgiving peak. The state is also seeing fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized since mid-November, although daily totals are still hovering above levels from before November’s surge. The Department of Health Services reported 74 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, pushing the state’s total to 4,196 during the pandemic.
Calculate your exposure risk
In Wisconsin, even small gatherings 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.
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Local small businesses get state boost for their COVID-19 innovations — Janesville Gazette
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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.