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Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The Wisconsin State Journal’s Chris Rickert reports on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision Friday that overturned a Dane County health order that closed schools to contain the spread of COVID-19. Writes Rickert: “The 4-3 decision — with all four of the court’s conservatives in the majority — comes with the school year essentially over and as rising vaccination rates appear to have the virus in retreat. The court in September had also placed a temporary hold on the order, meaning schools were free to conduct in-person classes for almost the entire 2020-21 school year, as many religious schools did.” The county’s top health official warned the ruling could make it difficult to contain future infectious disease outbreaks in Wisconsin schools. The head of the conservative legal group that sued called the order an abuse of power.

Top stories

Credit: Wisconsin State Journal video screenshot)

Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Dane County health department order to close schools — Wisconsin State Journal

Cost of surviving COVID: Long-hauler shares his bills with Contact 6 — Fox6 News

732 more Northland teens get COVID-19 vaccine — Superior Telegram

Million-dollar lotteries, scholarships, fishing licenses, even gun raffles — what other states offer to get COVID-19 vaccine — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Madison School District announces fully in-person return for next school year — Wisconsin State Journal

Vaccine champions work to educate community — Journal Times 

Over $10 million in rent assistance is still unclaimed in Dane County – how to find out of you qualify — Channel 3000

As summer programming begins, Milwaukee County health official says it’s critical unvaccinated kids wear masks indoors — WUWM

Deadline approaching for pandemic insurance relief for some farmers, agency says — La Crosse Tribune

COVID cases remain low as restrictions ease — Beloit Daily News

Quotable

“Maybe I misunderstood, but I didn’t think you could be billed for COVID. How do you bill any customer for a pandemic?”

Charita Ross, who spoke to Fox6 News about the $4,800 in medical bills her family owes after her husband, Ken, nearly died of COVID-19 in 2020 and continues to suffer symptoms of the disease.

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 48.9% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 83.8% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 43.8% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 80% 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 113 new daily infections, continuing a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported six new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the full toll to 7,206. 

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. 

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Update may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.