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Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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As new COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination rates slowly rise, major institutions in Wisconsin are welcoming people back — but with conditions. Lawrence University plans to require students to be vaccinated, reports Kelly Meyerhofer of the Wisconsin State Journal. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is considering the same requirement for students living in residence halls, Meyerhofer found — but has rejected vaccination as a condition of enrollment. Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, professional sports teams including the Bucks and Brewers will increase fan capacity to 50%. In Madison, the Mallards baseball team and Forward Madison soccer team plan to create sections for fans who are vaccinated. Some Republican lawmakers, however, want to move in the opposite direction, proposing legislation that would ban mandatory testing or vaccinations at UW and Wisconsin Technical College system campuses. 

Top stories

Emily Jaeger, a pharmacy student at UW-Madison, transfers vaccine doses from vials into syringes during a pop-up clinic held this spring. Credit: Emily Hamer / Wisconsin State Journal

Lawrence University will require COVID-19 vaccine for students, likely the first in Wisconsin — Wisconsin State Journal

Madison Mallards, Forward Madison to implement vaccinated sections for fans — Cap Times

Brewers and Bucks announce they will increase fan capacity to 50% — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Republican bill would ban UW System, tech colleges trom requiring COVID-19 testing or vaccinations — WPR 

Republicans delay veto overrides on COVID-19 bills — Associated Press

Pandemic caused ‘crisis boiling point’ for those seeking mental health help — Cap Times

Uber and Lyft will give free rides to COVID-19 vaccination Spots, White House says — NPR

Suit challenges restaurant aid priority to women, minorities — Associated Press

‘We have hit the wall’: Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is slowing down. Here’s why new approaches are needed. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

School districts, health departments prepare for child vaccinations — Beloit Daily News

Additional 4,000 Eau Claire County kids likely to be newly eligible for Pfizer vaccine — Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Quotable

“It’s our job to figure out what the fans want and how they’re going to feel comfortable enjoying our events and that’s part of this process. I don’t know that this is the ultimate solution for our business, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

Vern Stenman, whose company manages facilities for the Madison Mallards and Forward Madison, which plan to create special seating sections for vaccinated fans

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 44.6% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 81.7% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 38% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 77% 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 Wednesday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 491 new daily infections. The state also reported 18 new COVID-19 deaths, for a full toll of 6,935. 

Considering a trip to another state? The New York Times has this handy graphic of state-by-state COVID-19 rules. 

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? FactCheck.org 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: tips@wisconsinwatch.org

Vaccinations and vacations: How Door County is winning on both fronts — TMJ4

WPS names Peregrine falcon chicks after pandemic heroes — WXPR

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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.