Nurses and doctors at UW Hospital walk through a hallway Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in one of the hospital’s COVID-19 units, where patients are treated for the disease. Credit: Angela Major / WPR
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Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The U.S. Department of Defense is sending about 45 Army medical staffers to help overwhelmed Wisconsin hospitals as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday. 

The incoming staffers will aid Marshfield Medical Center facilities in Marshfield, Eau Claire, Beaver Dam and Rice Lake, Evers’ office said in a press release. The Marshfield Clinic system has been tapping volunteers from the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry, but exhausted medical staff need more help as COVID-19 patients continue to arrive. 

“Wisconsin’s healthcare system is strained, and our frontline healthcare workers are doing amazing work under extraordinary circumstances,” Evers said in a statement. “Many of them working back-to-back shifts in head-to-toe PPE, putting their health and safety on the line to take care of our vulnerable COVID-19 patients. This additional support is crucial and I thank the Department of Defense for providing these resources to the state.”

Molly Beck has more details for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Health Services on Wednesday reported 81 new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the state’s pandemic total to 3,887 — with more than 1,000 of those deaths coming in the last three weeks. 

Daily COVID-19 infection counts are hovering far below pre-Thanksgiving peaks, but that’s likely due to a dramatic decline in testing in recent weeks. Steve Elbow has that story for the Cap Times.

Top Stories

Nurses and doctors at UW Hospital walk through a hallway Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in one of the hospital’s COVID-19 units, where patients are treated for the disease. Credit: Angela Major / WPR

U.S. Army medical staff being deployed to overwhelmed Wisconsin hospitals — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Sharp drop in COVID-19 testing has Wisconsin officials baffled — Cap Times 

‘It’s stunning’: Wisconsin nurses on working the front lines of the pandemic — WPR 

Kenosha City Council calls on state to offer COVID-19 vaccine free to all state residents — Kenosha News 

Months later, COVID still affecting community’s mental health — Journal Times 

In Wisconsin, the wait for coronavirus vaccine is a new public health problem — 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

“Sure … Absolutely I will. I’ll wait my turn, but when my turn comes up, my wife and I will get the vaccine.”

Gov. Tony Evers, as quoted by the Associated Press

“I wish I could tell us all it’s going to get better. …I think we’re in for a very long, dark winter in Wisconsin.”

Angelia Foster, chief administrative officer of Marshfield Medical Center, as quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

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

Aaron Rodgers makes surprise appearance on Prevea staff’s Zoom meeting, thanks health care workers — Green Bay Press-Gazette 

Website helps overwhelmed parents find affordable way to get help for their children learning virtually — TMJ4 News

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