David Doolin clears the sidewalk at West Fiebrantz Avenue and North Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa on Tuesday. Before the end of the day, snow totals were expected to reach as high as 10 inches in some areas. Angela Peterson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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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. 

Today we highlight WPR’s coverage of COVID-19 vaccination challenges in rural Wisconsin. 

“The vaccine rollout has been challenging everywhere. But rural Wisconsin faces additional complications. Rural public health officials and providers have limited resources, staffing and storage compared to large urban health systems,” Danielle Kaeding reports. “And sparse populations in rural areas can make transportation to and from vaccination sites challenging for older populations with limited public transit options or those who live far from the nearest provider.”

Top Stories 

David Doolin clears the sidewalk at West Fiebrantz Avenue and North Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa on Tuesday. Before the end of the day, snow totals were expected to reach as high as 10 inches in some areas. Angela Peterson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The snowstorm forced some students back to virtual a day after returning to school. For others, school was just canceled. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Wisconsin’s rural vaccine rollout stymied by thin staffing, long drives WPR 

State Senate to vote on elimination of Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate Wisconsin State Journal 

Facing uncertainty, Wisconsin tribe switches to Indian Health Service for vaccine shipments WPR 

Teachers, others could be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin March 1 Wisconsin State Journal 

Out-of-work Wisconsinites ‘limp along financially’ as they wait for new unemployment benefits WPR 

Regeneron says monoclonal antibodies prevent Covid-19 in study STAT 

Nation’s first case of Brazilian COVID variant found in Minnesota Minneapolis Star-Tribune 

Dane County health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance Wisconsin State Journal 

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.


“As a new, more contagious COVID-19 variant is now spreading across Wisconsin, repealing our state’s mask mandate would be unbelievably reckless and irresponsible. With the safe, effective vaccine being distributed now, the end of this pandemic is within sight if we remain vigilant until enough Wisconsinites are vaccinated to stop the spread.”

— Dr. Robert Freedland, an ophthalmologist in La Crosse, in a statement circulated by the group Committee to Protect Medicare ahead of a Wisconsin Senate debate on repealing Gov. Tony Evers’ public health emergency and mask mandate 

“This is not about whether face masks are good or bad. …This is about repeatedly issuing emergency orders contrary to what the law allows.” 

— State Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, as quoted by WPR’s Shawn Johnson 

“If you are afraid the vaccine will harm you, I can assure you catching the virus will harm you AND you may spread it in ways that harm a family member, friend, and/or neighbor.” 

— University of Wisconsin-Madison education professor EMERITA Gloria Ladson-Billings, writing for Madison365 

Data to note

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

The Department of Health Services has continued to log fewer daily infections, with infections now at their lowest levels since mid-September. DHS on Tuesday reported a seven-day average of 34 new daily COVID-19 deaths. The state’s full COVID-19 death toll is 5,793.

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

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

High schoolers organize tutoring and encourage younger students in distance learning Beloit Daily News

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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.

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