Registered nurse Debbie Hillgamyer jabs the arm of laboratory technician Sarah Jagger, who received a COVID-19 vaccination Thursday at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo. Bridget Cooke / Daily Register
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Today we highlight a story by the Baraboo News Republic about confusion surrounding public health messaging around the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Various federal, state and local sources have been issuing a flurry of information on the COVID-19 vaccine in recent days, many of them pointing to websites for appointments and waiting lists, but that has left some local residents in the dark,” Susan Endres reports. 

Arlene Kanno, a Columbia County resident whose elderly friends were struggling to find information, told Endres: “They’re not communicating with older people, the people who really need to have that vaccine, you know.”  

Top Stories 

Registered nurse Debbie Hillgamyer jabs the arm of laboratory technician Sarah Jagger, who received a COVID-19 vaccination Thursday at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo. Bridget Cooke / Daily Register

Vaccine messaging fails to reach some older residents in Sauk, Columbia counties Baraboo News-Republic 

COVID-19 vaccination rates below 55% among Beloit first responders Janesville Gazette 

GOP effort to eliminate Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate heads to Assembly Wisconsin State Journal 

U.S. boosting vaccine deliveries amid complaints of shortages Associated Press 

White people are getting vaccinated at higher rates than Black and Latino Americans CNN 

Wisconsin pool for vaccinations not expected to increase until March 1 Cap Times 

CDC publishes Wisconsin doctor’s study showing schools can be COVID-19 safe with masks, precautions Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune 

Funeral directors in Wisconsin can finally get vaccinated against COVID, but their staffs can’t The Journal Times 

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

“My Republican colleagues say they want all students to have in-person school as soon as possible. This simply can’t happen safely without mandatory face coverings.”

— State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, following the Senate vote on a resolution to end Gov. Tony Evers’ public health emergency and mask mandate

“Today, the Senate took a stand for liberty and the rule of law. Governor Evers has abused his limited authority for far too long by repeatedly issuing unlawful orders beyond his 60-day emergency powers.”

— Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, in a statement 

Data to note

The Department of Health Services offers this snapshot of the state’s progress in vaccine distribution, last updated Tuesday.

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

DHS continues to log fewer daily infections, with cases now at their lowest levels since mid-September. The agency on Wednesday reported a seven-day average of 32 new daily COVID-19 deaths. The state’s full COVID-19 death toll is 5,787.

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

Photos: COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to adults 65 and older WPR 

Causey’s Career Corner: She’s helping residents survive the pandemic with healing — and hula Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

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.