Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is encouraging nearly 28,000 people who were denied federal pandemic unemployment benefits to reapply. That’s after the U.S. Department of Labor expanded eligibility for its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The agency says it is mailing notices to previously denied applicants who may be eligible for up to 79 weeks of aid payments under the expansion. 

The newly eligible workers include: 

  • People who refused work because their employer violated COVID-19 safety standards.
  • Education institution workers who fully or partially lost their job because COVID-19 shook up their work schedules.
  • Those who lost hours due to COVID-19 health measures, including restaurant workers. 

Rob Mentzer has the full story for WPR. 

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The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Credit: Angela Major / WPR

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Quotable

“It’s important for us all to remember we are still in a pandemic. … Call me skeptical but I doubt all the folks that were at Mifflin are vaccinated.”

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, speaking to the Wisconsin State Journal after largely unmasked, sometimes rowdy crowds gathered for the annual Mifflin Street Block Party

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 42.8% of Wisconsinites have received at least once vaccine dose, including 80.7% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 33.1% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 74.8% of those older than 65. 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 indoors and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed — particularly as more contagious virus variants spread. On Thursday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 623 new cases. The state also reported a seven-day average of 13 COVID-19 deaths, pushing the full toll to 6,815. 

WisContext offers this visualization:

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS has partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines. 

COVID-19 fact-checking

Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org offers this page full of explaniners — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction. 

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

Despite pandemic, adult literacy program still helping immigrants TMJ4 News 

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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.