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The Wisconsin Department of Health services on Thursday reported 59 new deaths from COVID-19, pushing the state’s pandemic death toll to 4,255. Included in those numbers: Duane Bark — a beloved educator, football coach and athletic director who bonded with his daughter by painting her nails.
Today we highlight Bram Sable-Smith’s story about Bark’s life. It’s part of a WPR and Wisconsin Life series exploring the lives behind pandemic’s grim statistics. Others include a World War II veteran who kept a diary as a prisoner of war, a loving grandmother, six nuns that lived as educators and provided care and a champion for veterans.
Duane Bark — beloved educator and football coach who painted daughter’s nails, dies of COVID-19 at 61 — WPR/Wisconsin Watch
Federal aid helped the hungry in the Milwaukee area during the coronavirus pandemic. Now they face a ‘food cliff.’ — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Evers asks Wisconsin Supreme Court to allow new capacity limits — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Facing a ‘grim’ winter, Madison restaurant owners envision a post-COVID future — Cap Times
Among nursing homes hit by Covid-19, veterans homes struggled the most — Wall Street Journal
‘We’re not animals:’ Half of Rock County Jail inmates test positive for COVID-19 — Janesville Gazette
State health secretary says full hospitals may have prompted some residents to change behavior, leading to decline in COVID-19 cases — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Student well-being, mental health concerns leads Baraboo public schools to reopen sooner than planned — Baraboo News-Republic
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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.
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.
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.
‘You left us’: Without a government to lean on, Restaurateurs are turning to each other — WPR
Gov. Evers, first lady share hope this holiday season — Office of Gov. Tony Evers
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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.