Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.
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.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed on a pure party-line vote President Joe Biden’s wide-ranging $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, providing funding for vaccines, schools, small businesses, $1,400 payments to most Americans and programs aimed at stemming poverty. The bill expands the child tax credit, projected to lift millions of U.S. children out of poverty through monthly payments to parents. Republicans call the bill a Democratic “wish list” with just 9% of spending aimed directly at battling the pandemic. PolitiFact has labeled that critique “half true,” saying that while a small fraction of the total is health care spending, “a significant percentage of the bill aims to address the financial fallout caused by the pandemic.”
‘I’m spending my days laughing and teaching’: La Crosse teacher Julie Welch finds unexpected joy in online learning, says most teachers haven’t been as lucky — WPR/Wisconsin Watch
President Joe Biden will sign COVID-19 stimulus package on Friday; Pelosi, Schumer laud it — USA TODAY
A year changed some of what we knew about COVID and who it affects most. But heartbreak was the constant. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin budget breakdown: Federal boost, heightened spending, lasting implications — Cap Times
La Crosse County Health Department, area hospitals urge patients to get vaccinated wherever they are able — La Crosse Tribune
The job’s never done: Small pharmacies like Racine Hometown play big role in COVID-19 vaccine rollout — Journal Times
Madison to target anti-violence aid to those affected disproportionately during pandemic — Wisconsin State Journal
‘My mom was the glue’: Diane Butler carried her family on her shoulders until she fell to COVID-19 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Beloved bar owner and mentor to young men, James Banks died of COVID in 2020 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data to note
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Wednesday that 63.4% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 19.1% of the state’s overall population. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents.
Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. On Wednesday, DHS reported 516 additional cases and 14 new deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 6,524.
WisContext offers this visualization.
Find a vaccine site near you
DHS has this interactive map of vaccine providers across Wisconsin. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: email@example.com.
New Clorox Total 360 cleaning machine unveiled in Chippewa Falls — WXOW
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.