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Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The Wisconsin Department of Corrections on Monday announced plans to reinstate in-person visits for prisoners following a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In-person visits will resume July 6, with precautions taken, the agency said in a press release. 

“With COVID-19 infection numbers down and vaccination rates up, those in our care and their loved ones can again enjoy each other’s company face-to-face,” DOC Secretary Kevin Carr said in a statement

The agency as of Monday reported just 11 active infections among the more than 19,000 prisoners. Vaccinations and other precautions have kept that number low for several months after more than half of prisoners in DOC custody were infected with the virus. At least 32 people have died of COVID-19 while in DOC custody during the pandemic, agency data shows. About 65% of DOC’s eligible population is fully or partially vaccinated, agency data shows. 

Reporter Emily Hamer has more for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Top Stories

Signs and posters are left outside the Wisconsin governor’s mansion in Maple Bluff, Wis., on June 18, 2020, as part of a “Drive to Decarcerate” event. Those attending urged Gov. Tony Evers to release inmates from Wisconsin’s overcrowded prisons to slow the spread of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, Evers set a goal to cut the state’s prison population in half. But 23 state prisons still exceed their designed capacity. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin prisons to resume in-person visitation July 6Wisconsin State Journal 

Former Grafton pharmacist who spoiled vials of COVID-19 vaccine sentenced to 3 years in prisonTMJ4 News 

States warn J&J doses could expire soon and the White House urges them to consult the FDA — The New York Times

Nearly 5% of Wisconsin’s 12- To 15-year-olds have completed their COVID-19 vaccine seriesWPR 

In the U.S., vaccines for the youngest are expected this fallThe New York Times 

Development agencies will use pandemic relief funds to study region’s economic potentialCap Times 

Beloit to be ‘thoughtful and deliberate’ about COVID-19 aidBeloit Daily News

Quotable

“Each of us have our own reasons for getting the vaccine, and we hope folks will participate by posting photos to share with friends and neighbors about why you chose to get the shot.”

Gov. Tony Evers, in a statement announcing the re-launch of the state’s “You Stop the Spread” campaign

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 48.6% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 83.6% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 43.2% 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 Tuesday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 135 new daily infections, continuing a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported 17 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the full toll to 7,178. 

This Wisconsin Hospital Association reported that 170 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide as of Monday.

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.