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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Communities across Wisconsin are re-evaluating public health orders after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks inside or out, or to distance themselves from others. The groundbreaking guidance has sent cities, counties and businesses in Wisconsin scrambling to figure out which restrictions, if any, should be retained to curb the spread of COVID-19. In Outagamie County, the mask order has already been lifted. In Marinette County, the indoor mask order is likely on its way out, the County Board will resume in-person meetings, but the courthouse will continue to require masking, the Marinette Eagle Herald reports. Dane County plans to update its public health orders next week. And in Milwaukee, the city had already planned to lift capacity limits on June 15. Now it is considering what to do about its indoor mask order

Top stories

Mimmi Fulmer, of Madison, with her husband, Ric Merritt, at left, puts money into a container as she buys spinach from Bill Warner, right, with Snug Haven Farm of Belleville, during the first day of the Dane County Farmers’ Market in the parking lot at Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal

Indoor mask order still in effect for Dane County, but ‘update’ expected next week — Wisconsin State Journal

Marinette County leaders look to relax mask order — Marinette Eagle Herald

Outagamie Co. removes facial coverings requirement, effective immediately — WFRV

‘The day we have been waiting for’: COVID-19 cloud begins to lift as CDC issues new guidelines about going without masks — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Here’s how Wisconsin businesses are planning to adapt to the new CDC mask recommendations — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As large public events return to Wisconsin, experts say vaccination rates critical to prevent new outbreaks — WPR

What does the new mask guidance really mean? — The New York Times

Sites begin vaccinating ages 12-15, local mom relieved as two sons get their shots — La Crosse Tribune

Excitement, joy, relief: First Chippewa Valley preteens get vaccinated Thursday — Eau Claire Leader Telegram

‘This is a big day’: News 3 Now Vaccine Day gives 565 shots, mostly to 12- to 15-year-olds — News 3 Now

Here comes the bride(s): 2021’s Northwoods pandemic wedding boom — WXPR

How much does Wisconsin not having a job search requirement for unemployment benefits affect worker shortage? — Journal Times

Is it now reasonable to discuss the end of the pandemic? Yes, but with caveats. — The Washington Post

Inside one network cashing in on vaccine disinformation — Associated Press

The racial gap in U.S. vaccinations is shrinking, but work remains — The New York Times


“The pendulum has really swung back. Now the benefits of gathering in person for fully vaccinated people clearly outweigh the risks. … It’s now how do we get everybody to be fully vaccinated so everyone can get back to work and back to school.”

Dr. Patrick Remington, director of the preventive medicine residency program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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 Friday that 44.9% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 82.7% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 38.9% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 77.8% 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. 

On Friday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 444 new daily infections. The state also reported one new COVID-19 death, for a full toll of 6,954. 

WisContext offers this visualization:

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.  

COVID-19 fact-checking

Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? offers this page full of explainers — 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:

Madison-area seniors who just ‘love softball’ get back to the diamond — Wisconsin State Journal

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