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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The novel coronavirus does not appear to threaten the nation’s blood supply — as long as standard screening protocols are followed, according to a new study by the National Institutes of Health. 

“The study hopes to reassure donors reluctant to give blood because they were previously infected with COVID-19,” Shamane Mills reports for WPR — and it comes at  time of year when fewer people are tending to give blood. 

Researchers analyzed nearly 18,000 pools of blood — representing nearly 258,000 single blood donations across six American metropolitan regions. They concluded that the likelihood of a transfusion recipient receiving blood with trace amounts of the coronavirus was just .001%, or about 1 in 100,000. That chance was insignificant compared to the risks of infection through airborne transmission, the study found.

Top Stories

Minnesota National Guard members host and donate to a blood drive at the Cedar Street Armory in Saint Paul April 3, 2020. Nationwide, blood donation fell amid concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. Donations have since stabilized, with organizers encouraging potential donors to schedule their next appointment online to help create a steady supply of blood for hospitals. The Minnesota National Guard has a long history of hosting these events year-round at armories across the state. Sgt. 1st Class Ben Houtkooper

Study finds COVID-19 doesn’t threaten safety of nation’s blood supplyWPR 

Scientists unlocking secrets that power coronavirus’ evasive, fast-spreading UK variant, which is dominant in the U.S.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

‘UPFRONT’ recap: $1.5B in federal matching funds for education in jeopardyWISN 12 

Marquette University will require students be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the upcoming school yearTMJ4 News 

Colleges say students must get a COVID vaccine. But no, not that one.The New York Times 

A lifeline for the unemployed is about to end for half of U.S. Here’s what’s at stake NPR 

Dane County’s largest municipalities plan return to in-person public meetingsWisconsin State Journal 

Green Bay schools’ summer mask policy proposal: What to know before Monday’s voteGreen Bay Press-Gazette 

MMSD in-person students had slightly higher attendance than those who remained virtualCap Times

Quotable

“Our community needs real investment, not just statements claiming that we are valued, but action that shows real value. We should be the ones determining how dollars are spent in a way that ensures that our community thrives, because Metcalfe Park and our surrounding communities have endured constant oppressive conditions in Milwaukee, and these were heightened due to this pandemic.”

Melody McCurtis,  deputy director of priorities and organizer at Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, writing in Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service about the need for community input in how Milwaukee spends nearly $400 million in federal COVID-19 relief

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 Monday that 48.5% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 83.5% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 43% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 79.7% 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 Monday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 119 new daily infections, continuing a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported one new COVID-19 death, bringing the full toll to 7,161. 

This Wisconsin Hospital Association chart shows that COVID-19 hospitalizations are also trending downward.

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.

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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.