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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Today we highlight the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s coverage of Wisconsin’s progress — and challenges — in distributing vaccines that are crucial to halting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Wisconsin expects to get its first shipment of roughly 50,000 vaccine doses by mid-December, but state officials don’t expect to receive and distribute enough doses to reach the wider population until spring. In kick starting the program, Wisconsin plans to prioritize health care workers, long-term care residents, the elderly and some essential workers, according to reporters Mary Spicuzza and Alison Dirr. 

Still to be decided: How the state will fund the long-term program.

Top Stories

A pedestrian on UW-Madison’s campus wears a shirt that reads: “Do your part. Stay 6 feet apart.”

What we know so far about Wisconsin’s plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Wisconsin plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines by mid-December, but health officials say they don’t have funding for long-term program — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

As COVID-19 deaths increase in the county, the virus hits multiple members of the same family — Kenosha News 

Milwaukee issues new COVID-19 order clamping down on bars, restaurants, team sports — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Bars were hotspots in UW-Madison’s COVID-19 outbreaks, MIT professor’s study finds — Wisconsin State Journal 

Dane County considers more pandemic restrictions as GOP lawmakers try to limit them — WPR 

Gov. Tony Evers announces $80M in grants for restaurants, lodging, music venues — WPR 

How COVID-19, the paper market, and investors influenced the shutdown of a Wisconsin paper mill — Wisconsin Rapids Tribune 

Prisons are Covid-19 hotbeds. When should inmates get the vaccine? — The New York Times

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


“We need to change the culture of what masking means — this is purely a public health measure… Wearing a mask says nothing else but you are protecting yourself and others.”

Traci Kokke, a Mayo Clinic Health System infectious disease nurse, speaking to the La Crosse Tribune

“Capt. Raether served her community every day with astounding courage and selflessness, putting her health and safety on the line, even during a global pandemic, to help others. …While our first responders are always prepared to run towards danger, let this be a reminder to all of us how critical our actions are in helping to keep them safe during this pandemic.”

Gov. Tony Evers in a statement Thursday after ordering flags at half-staff to honor Capt. Kelly Lynn Raether of the Town of Ixonia Fire and EMS, who died after contracting COVID-19 when she responded to a patient

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Infections and hospitalizations have trended downward from record mid-November peaks, but experts are warning that they may rise again following holiday gatherings. Additionally, the state’s test-positivity rate has increased in recent days. The Department of Health Services reported 60 new deaths on Thursday.

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.

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:

Technology helping the deaf community navigate life in the pandemic — TMJ4 News

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Update may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( 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.

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