The summer Milwaukee Recreation program at George Washington Carver Academy included morning mindfulness. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Recreation
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is asking the federal government to prioritize Wisconsin in distributing COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk populations and health workers, citing high infection rates and Republican resistance to restrictions to control the coronavirus in the state, the Cap Times reports. 

“Wisconsin uniquely faces substantial barriers to implementing statewide mitigation strategies supported by public health experts and science currently utilized by other states,” Evers said in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. “Given this and the outsized impact COVID-19 is having on our state, it is critical that Wisconsin be prioritized for vaccine allocation in quantities sufficient to vaccinate our healthcare workforce and with additional doses to be able to distribute to high-risk populations.”

Evers has sought to limit gatherings and pursue other restrictions to slow the virus’ spread, drawing resistance from Republicans and business groups. Courts have thwarted Evers’ Safer at Home order and a subsequent order to limit bar and restaurant capacity. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is weighing an additional challenge to Evers’ mask-wearing mandate.

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The summer Milwaukee Recreation program at George Washington Carver Academy included morning mindfulness. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Recreation

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“Before catching COVID-19, it barely registered to me as a moderate threat. I hadn’t known anyone who had contracted the disease, let alone gotten severely or even moderately sick from it. Now, I have more empathy than ever for those facing the effects of this virus, especially those who are facing it alone in an isolated hospital room.”

— Alisa M. Schafer of the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, writing about her struggle to recover from COVID-19

“The base for a strong economy starts with controlling the virus until a vaccine is widely available.” 

— Ron Wirtz, regional outreach director for the Federal Reserve’s Ninth District, which includes northwestern Wisconsin, as quoted by WQOW.

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 they may rise again following holiday gatherings. Additionally, the state’s test-positivity rate has increased in recent days. 

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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Milk donation helps Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin fight increased demand amid pandemic TMJ4 News

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