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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.
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
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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.
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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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