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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Today we highlight a story profiling a Wisconsin “long-hauler” whose COVID-19 symptoms persist long after he was infected. WPR’s Rob Mentzer tells the story of Paul Mathis of Rib Mountain, Wisconsin, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October. Five months later, Mathis still suffers from a sudden racing heart beat, shortness of breath and a diminished sense of smell. Mathis is among a set of people — as many as one-third — who contracted the virus but who have yet to fully recover from it. This story is part of the WPR/Wisconsin Watch series Outbreak Wisconsin, a text and audio project that chronicles how the public health crisis — and the state’s response to it — has shaped residents in various ways. Hear Mathis’ story here.

Top Stories

Paul Mathis leans down to greet his dog, Tiberius, on Feb. 16, 2021, at a dog park in Wausau, Wis. Mathis says spending time being active outdoors helps him recover from the lingering symptoms of COVID-19. Angela Major / WPR

‘Where am I going to be in a year?’ Paul Mathis chronicles life with symptoms that won’t go awayWPR/Wisconsin Watch 

Wisconsin GOP lawmakers pass bills banning COVID-19 vaccine mandatesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin again reports record vaccine administration, rollout among top in nationWAOW TV

Wisconsin GOP leaders praise state’s COVID-19 vaccine rolloutWPR

Here’s why Wisconsinites feel shame about being eligible for the vaccine because of their BMI, and why experts say they shouldn’tUSA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Legislature passes bill to allow takeout drinks; GOP seeks to give Legislature more control over federal COVID-19 fundsWisconsin State Journal

MPS school board approves April reopening plan, excluding most high school studentsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsinites complain of phishing, scams, fraud amid pandemicFox6 News

Gundersen, Mayo urge community members to schedule vaccine appointments anywhere availableLa Crosse Tribune

Beloit school board approves hybrid graduation modelBeloit Daily News

LCHD reports waste of 100 COVID-19 vaccine dosesTomahawk Leader

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

“(The state health department) had a rough start, getting the vaccines out early. But our state, I think, over the last month or two has done a really good job getting people vaccinated.”

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, offering rare praise of the administration of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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 Wednesday that 73.2% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 26.3% 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 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, the state DHS reported 776 new cases and 10 new deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 6,597.

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

Pandemic got you down? State health officials have some advice on how to cope on the COVID-19: Resilient Wisconsin page.

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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.