Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Today we highlight the latest installment of our Outbreak Wisconsin series, a collaboration with WPR. In this segment reported by WPR’s Bridgit Bowden, University of Wisconsin-Madison third-year student Azul Kothari describes how he and others navigate the campus during the pandemic. New this semester: Required spit-based COVID-19 tests every few days. “Saliva testing is something that feels really weird to do,” Kothari said. “It’s literally the grossest thing.” In a separate story, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank tells the Associated Press that a normal fall semester is possible if enough faculty, staff and students get vaccinated.

Top Stories 

Azul Kothari, a junior and house fellow at the University of Wisconsin Madison, on campus on Feb. 27, 2021. Credit: Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

‘I’ve been very fortunate’: Living on campus, Azul Kothari hopes UW-Madison will prevent COVID-19 outbreaks with new testing protocols.Wisconsin Watch/WPR  

Blank: Normal fall semester at UW hinges on vaccinationsAssociated Press

Wisconsin’s promised vaccine registry site has launched with just one vaccinator while state works out glitchesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

‘Vaccine angels’ can only do so much: US struggles to make it easier to find COVID-19 vaccination appointmentUSA TODAY 

Gov. Tony Evers suggests schools could start year early to help students catch upMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

‘Version of normal’ possible this summer as Dane County loosens COVID-19 pandemic restrictionsWisconsin State Journal

Updated: Survey shows more than 7,000 MMSD elementary students will return for in-person instructionCap Times

Ashland schools quarantine incident sparks discrimination claims from Native American familyWPR 

Beloit College lowers COVID-19 risk level as situation improves in Rock CountyBeloit Daily News

Pediatricians concerned as childhood immunizations drop during pandemicLa Crosse Tribune

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Quotable

“I think we have evolved and we have learned more about what are the metrics we need to use to respond. If we continue on this path, we may see a summer this year that feels more like 2019 than 2020.”

Janel Heinrich, director of Madison Dane County Public Health, announcing new ways to gauge when COVID-19-related restrictions should be lifted.

Data to note

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Wednesday that 56.6% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 16.3% 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 significantly below that of white residents. The disparity between Native Americans and white residents, however, has narrowed in recent weeks.   

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

DHS reported 18 new deaths and 539 new cases Wednesday. WisContext offers this visualization of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections and deaths. Wisconsin’s seven-day average for daily infections ticked up Wednesday after reaching its lowest point since early July.  

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. 

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

Voting deputies cleared to return to Wisconsin nursing homes Associated Press

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