Wisconsin nurses prepare for coronavirus “storm” — 3/20/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Of note: Today we highlight our detailed look at how Wisconsin’s hospitals are preparing for an expected flood of COVID-19 patients. Parker Schorr of the Cap Times and Bram Sable-Smith of Wisconsin Public Radio — both fellows embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom — report that the pandemic is testing health systems that were already running lean. Hospitals expect to run short on beds, protective gear and staff, though some see reason for hope.

Top Stories

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

The campus of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital is seen in Madison, Wis., on March 5, 2020. Hospital systems in Wisconsin, like those across the country, could soon be short on beds, protective gear and staff to confront a virus detected in 206 people statewide, as of March 20, 2020. One St. Mary’s nurse said they are “not staffed for regular patient levels let alone potential influx of patients.”

Stretched thin already, Wisconsin nurses prepare for coronavirus ‘storm’ — Wisconsin Watch

Barred from clinic during the pandemic, nursing students find a way to help — Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin clerks are running out of ballot envelopes as absentee voting surges — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The urgent battle to flatten Wisconsin’s COVID-19 curve — WisContext

Even as many businesses close to curb the spread of coronavirus, some are in need of more workers — Green Bay Press-Gazette

‘This is brutal for everybody’: Last call for corner bars? — Milwaukee Neighborhood News

Kohl’s announces it is closing all of its U.S. stores — The Journal Times

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Live updates 

Live blog from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today-Wisconsin reporters 

Live blog from Wisconsin State Journal reporters


“This crisis should be a wake-up call to address long-term vulnerabilities.”

Nicholas Kristof, writing for the New York Times

“A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: “Can this wait or be taken care of over the phone?” If the answer is yes, then consider not coming in. We understand.”

Dr. Bryan Johnston, writing for Milwaukee Neighborhood News

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@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com.

Mariah Clark, a University of Wisconsin Hospital nurse, tweets

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