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Today we highlight a Wisconsin State Journal story about how a Wisconsin prison failed to contain a massive COVID-19 outbreak.
Reporter Emily Hamer documented “a series of missteps” that caused infections to soar within Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution — from just 12 active COVID-19 infections in early September to more than 870 in October. The Sheboygan County prison failed to separate inmates from others and was slow to shut down indoor areas where inmates congregate, staff members and inmates told Hamer.
“Inmates and staff both reported seeing guards come to work with symptoms, and guards continued to come into work after being exposed because of staffing shortages,” wrote Hamer, a former Wisconsin Watch intern.
‘They played with our lives’: How one Wisconsin prison failed to contain a COVID-19 outbreak — Wisconsin State Journal
Pandemic-era budget, new legislative maps loom as Wisconsin lawmakers begin session — WPR
As Milwaukee closes book on historic year of violence, there’s some optimism for 2021. But just some. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Pandemic response raised Public Health’s profile, caused ‘shift in focus’ — Cap Times
Wisconsin demand for guns, ammo hasn’t subsided since start of COVID-19 pandemic — WPR
Former Aurora pharmacist accused of intentionally destroying vaccine released from jail; charges uncertain until vials tested by Moderna — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
249 people in Racine County lost their lives after catching COVID in 2020. Here are some of their stories — Journal Times
Janesville murder trial postponed again because of COVID-19 pandemic — Janesville Gazette
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Data to note
Wisconsin has administered nearly 67,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccination — 32% of the roughly 208,000 doses distributed to the state, according to a Bloomberg tracker. That’s just above the national average (30%) of percent administered. Both vaccines approved for use require two shots taken several weeks apart.
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 statistics. New documented COVID-19 infections and test-positivity rates are far below their pre-Thanksgiving peak. The state is also seeing fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized since mid-November, now hovering at mid-October levels. 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.
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Bill Berry: Masks and cookbooks offer glimmers of hope through COVID-19 — Cap Times
As a singer, EMT and nursing student, Shawn Holmes runs toward challenges of COVID-19 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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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.