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Today we highlight our story exploring what we know — and what is yet to be learned — about how well Wisconsin school children are faring during a pandemic that has forced some schools to teach fully or partially online.
Reporter Peter Cameron found that limited studies have found children in grades K-12 nationwide have fallen behind in math. And a survey of Wisconsin students and their parents — most of them in rural areas — finds that just 15% believe they are learning as much during the pandemic as before. On the positive side, fears that schools would become superspreader sites have not materialized.
This piece is part of a collaborative reporting project called Lesson Plans: Rural schools grapple with COVID.
8 things you need to know about coronavirus vaccinations — Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
‘Is it fair’? Wisconsin faces decisions on who will be next in line for COVID-19 vaccinations — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Another beloved Carroll University nursing professor has died of COVID-19 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Rock County businesses concerned about COVID-19 data gathering — Janesville Gazette
Data to note
Wisconsin has now surpassed 5,000 deaths during the pandemic. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 60 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total past 5,000 to to 5,039.
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 statistics. New documented COVID-19 infections are increasing in recent days following a weeks-long plunge from their pre-Thanksgiving peak. The state’s test-positivity rate is similarly increasing. The state is seeing fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized since mid-November, now hovering at mid-October levels. But the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported a major spike in patients on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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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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.