Appleton Post-Crescent reporter Madeline Heim found that some Wisconsin residents with disabilities were being denied access to vaccines, even though the state has prioritized them for inoculation. Starting March 1, people enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, such as Family Care and IRIS, were eligible for COVID-19 shots “but many vaccine providers didn’t get that message,” Heim found.
Wisconsin Watch’s reporters and editors are investigating state and local impacts of the global pandemic and issues related to quality of life in Wisconsin. This page groups together all our original reporting, as well as our roundups of news from around the state and nation.
Vaccine eligibility moved up for residents with health conditions — 3/16/21
As COVID-19 vaccine — and federal funding — flows into Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday pushed up the eligibility for residents with certain underlying health conditions to March 22. This group includes an estimated 2 million people with conditions including heart or liver problems, obesity, diabetes and cancer. It also includes people who are pregnant or immunocompromised. These residents had been scheduled to become eligible a week later, on March 29. Milwaukee County further expanded eligibility to anyone 18 or older living in 10 at-risk ZIP codes.
Data show Wisconsin has wasted few COVID-19 vaccine doses — 3/15/21
As Wisconsin tops 2 million shots in the arms of state residents, newly released data show that health care providers here have wasted very few of the precious doses. Wisconsin Watch/WPR reporter Bram Sable-Smith finds that just .16% of the 1.4 million vaccine doses allocated to Wisconsin in February were wasted, according to data from the state Department of Health Services.
Hunting for a vaccine? These tips might help — 3/12/21
Gov. Tony Evers on Friday announced he would follow the directive of President Joe Biden and open COVID-19 vaccinations to all adults in the state by May 1. Meanwhile, at the end of March, a broad swath of state residents with conditions including obesity, diabetes and cancer will be eligible for vaccination. Even if they qualify, however, some residents struggle to find a COVID-19 shot.
Special edition: A year of pandemic — 3/11/21
In this COVID-19 update, we highlight coverage from news outlets across the country marking Thursday’s one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the coronavirus pandemic — and the realization that the deadly new disease had taken root in the United States.
Massive ‘rescue’ bill on its way to President Biden’s desk — 3/10/21
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed on a pure party-line vote President Joe Biden’s wide-ranging $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, providing funding for vaccines, schools, small businesses, $1,400 payments to most Americans and programs aimed at stemming poverty.
Wisconsinites with health conditions soon to be added to COVID-19 vaccine list— 3/9/21
After a public outcry, Wisconsin health officials say they plan to announce that as many as 2 million residents with certain underlying health conditions will soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
New CDC guidance offers freedom for the vaccinated — 3/8/21
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released long-awaited guidance Monday on how to stay safe even after vaccination. The agency says fully vaccinated people can gather safely indoors without masks with other fully vaccinated people or “low-risk” unvaccinated people from the same household. But it recommends vaccinated people continue to wear masks when they go out in public.
More than 1 million in Wisconsin have gotten first COVID-19 vaccine dose — 3/5/21
More than 1 million people in Wisconsin have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and more than 500,000 have received two doses, Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday, touting a statewide vaccination campaign whose pace had frustrated some still waiting but is among the quickest in the country.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson vows to ‘lead the effort to resist’ $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill — 3/4/21
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson plans to slow down President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in the Senate, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
New testing protocols at UW-Madison: Pool your drool — 3/3/21
Today we highlight the latest installment of our Outbreak Wisconsin series, a collaboration with WPR. In this segment reported by WPR’s Bridgit Bowden, University of Wisconsin-Madison third-year student Azul Kothari describes how he and others navigate the campus during the pandemic.
Arrival of Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosts hopes for speeding inoculations — 3/2/21
President Joe Biden says the United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses available for the country’s full adult population by the end of May, although delivering all of those shots will take longer, The New York Times reports.