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Today we highlight the latest installment in the WPR/Wisconsin Watch audio diary series, Outbreak Wisconsin. In this episode, we hear from five Wisconsinites reflecting on loss, opportunity and introspection prompted by a year of pandemic living. A Madison nurse says the COVID-19 crisis made her job “more human.” A Milwaukee business owner found new outlets for her products. A Door County senior citizen found contentment after leaving a locked-down assisted living facility. A laid-off Madison bartender switched careers. And a laid-off Eau Claire shuttle service worker found fulfillment helping people with disabilities.

Top Stories

Beverly Blietz, 85, is seen in her apartment at the Glen Estates complex in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, on August 6, 2020. Blietz is a former resident of the Good Samaritan Society – Scandia Village in Sister Bay, but moved out in June 2020 due to the restrictions placed on residents due to the pandemic. A former recreational pilot, Uber driver, art gallery docent and community volunteer, Blietz loved to drive around Door County visiting with friends and family, but found herself involuntarily locked down when the pandemic hit. Her 680-square-foot apartment, instead of offering independent living, began to feel more like a cage, so she found a new place to live where she could be on her own terms. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsinites share how they are coping and adapting one year into the COVID-19 pandemicWPR/Wisconsin Watch

UW-Eau Claire to hold second federal COVID-19 vaccination site in WisconsinWisconsin State Journal

Unemployment call center to be open around the clock by fall after technology upgradeMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

Green Bay-area residents endured loss, cancellations, isolation. But pandemic taught some ‘to appreciate what I have.’Green Bay Press Gazette

Do you need to show proof of medical conditions? Dr. Rai answers COVID-19 vaccine questionsWBAY

Dane County health officials: Fully vaccinated can get close, ditch the masksWisconsin State Journal

Report: Pandemic has left health care workforce ‘drained’WPR

As vaccine outlook improves, Wisconsin turns attention to hesitancyCap Times 

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 tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Quotable

“There were aspects of COVID that let us really connect back to the fact that we as nurses are there to care for whole people — and not just assemblages of parts that aren’t working right at the time. We had seen friends or family or co-workers who had gotten ill. We could picture ourselves there. And it felt — a lot of the time — a lot more human.”

Madison nurse Mariah Clark, reflecting on the past year of the pandemic for Outbreak Wisconsin, a set of audio diaries produced by WPR and Wisconsin Watch

Data to note

Click on the image above to see Wisconsin DHS COVID-19 vaccine data, which is updated daily.

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Thursday that 70.3% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 22.9% 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 Thursday, DHS reported 490 additional cases and two new deaths, raising the statewide death toll to 6,565. 

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. 

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

Causey’s Career Corner: How COVID-19 forced 4 small-business owners to think big Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Wissota Place residents reach 100% COVID-19 immunization, reverse ribbon cutting held Chippewa Herald

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The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.