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Today we highlight a Washington Post profile of a law firm connected to the anti-vaccine movement — part of a network that has challenged coronavirus vaccine mandates nationwide, including at a Rock County, Wisconsin-owned nursing home that’s now weighing whether to lift the mandate.
The New York-based firm Siri & Glimstad has performed millions of dollars of legal work for The Informed Consent Action Network, a Texas-based nonprofit that makes unsubstantiated or debunked claims about the dangers of vaccines, Isaac Stanley-Becker reports.
“At stake in this latest contest is whether hospitals, law enforcement agencies and others can require employees to take a vaccine that was made available in an expedited process permitted during a public health emergency — and, likewise, whether schools may require the shots for students, faculty and staff members in the same way many require familiar vaccines for measles and chickenpox,” Stanley-Becker writes. “There is little case law on the matter, with only one vaccine, for anthrax exposure, previously cleared in a similar way.”
Resistance to vaccine mandates is building. A powerful network is helping. — The Washington Post
After slow start, nearly half of Wisconsin’s prison population has been fully vaccinated — WPR
Milwaukee alders raise concerns about lifting mask requirement June 1 — WPR
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is lifting COVID-19 precautions but remaining smoke-free — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Outdoor dining is here; beleaguered bar and restaurant operators say it helped them through — Wisconsin State Journal
Masks to become optional for vaccinated adults in Baraboo public schools this summer — Baraboo News Republic
Fully vaccinated fans will no longer need to wear a mask at AmFam Field starting June 1, Brewers say — TMJ4 News
Small businesses in Beloit urged to apply for additional grant funding from pandemic aid — Beloit Daily News
Data to note
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Wednesday that 47.2% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 83% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 41.3% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 78.7% 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.
On Wednesday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 307 new daily infections, continuing a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported five new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the full toll to 7,003.
This chart from WisContext shows those trends.
Find a vaccine site near you
DHS and the federal government have partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are often by appointment, but providers are increasingly offering walk-in options. In addition, people seeking COVID-19 shots can text their ZIP code to 438829 to find nearby vaccine providers.
Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org offers this page full of explainers — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction.
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