The summer Milwaukee Recreation program at George Washington Carver Academy included morning mindfulness. Credit: Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Recreation
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.

You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism. 

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.

Top Stories

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

Tony Evers asks feds to give Wisconsin priority in vaccine rollout Cap Times 

After a six-week COVID surge in the Fox Valley, we have a reprieve. Our behavior can keep it that way, ThedaCare leaders say Appleton Post Crescent

As some pandemic aid ends, what’s next for hurting Americans Associated Press

Schools try to fill child care gap amid virtual learning, though COVID-19 prompts closures WPR 

‘There’s a false sense of security’: We check in on four essential workers on the frontlines Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Court cases stack up in county, especially with jury trials suspended since Oct. 30 Journal Times 

Gov. Tony Evers calls on state lawmakers to ‘step up’ in response to pandemic WPR 
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

“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.

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

Milk donation helps Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin fight increased demand amid 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 (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.