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Today we highlight our examination of the safety and access questions surrounding the in-person caucuses towns and villages are holding this month to nominate candidates for local office.
Anya van Wagtendonk reports on a couple from the town of Hudson in St. Croix County who sought — unsuccessfully — to force town officials to allow them to remotely participate in its nominating event. The complaint and lawsuit brought by John Gostovich and Celeste Koeberl raise questions about whether these gatherings are elections or public meetings — and how much access officials must provide even after the pandemic ends.
Wisconsin caucuses pose thorny safety issues during pandemic — Wisconsin Watch
Wisconsin Center may become major vaccination site for City of Milwaukee — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Assembly Republicans to take up likely doomed COVID-19 relief package — Wisconsin State Journal
At least one nursing home in the City of Racine has begun COVID-19 vaccinations — The Journal Times
Dells-Delton EMS paramedics receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine — Wisconsin Dells Events
Data to note
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 40 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the total to 5,079.
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 this week.
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.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘We’ll get you through this’: Milwaukee-area volunteers have helped 600 people recover from COVID-19 — Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Gray Brewing gets help through the pandemic from unexpected source — Janesville Gazette
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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.