Coronavirus tests are key. Why aren’t more people getting them? — 4/17/20

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

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When might it be safe for Wisconsinites to gradually reopen businesses and relax other restrictions meant to slow the coronavirus’ spread? Experts can’t offer a precise date, but they agree that quickly and widely testing for the virus will be key for figuring that out. Today we highlight a story by the Appleton Post-Crescent’s Madeline Heim, a former Wisconsin Watch intern, examining a key question in that realm: Why are the state’s testing labs running below their reported capacity?

Top stories

Zhihan Huang / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Meredith Grob Polewski records a video for her students in front of her house on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Grob Polewski is a K4 teacher. She started recording lessons for her students last week when they were told they couldn’t go back to the classroom.

Wisconsin officials say labs can run 7,500-plus coronavirus tests each day. So why are far fewer people being tested?Appleton Post-Crescent

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos threatens lawsuit over stay-at-home order as partisan divide widens over COVID-19Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

18 Milwaukee Police Department employees infected with coronavirus, assistant chief saysMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

7 Midwest states to partner on reopening the economyAssociated Press

Apply now: County calling on restaurants to provide meals for seniors through federal programJournal Times

Critics of Gov. Tony Evers’ ‘safer at home’ order plan Capitol protestThe Cap Times

‘Teachers are pretty broken-hearted’: COVID-19 closes schools but learning to continueMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

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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 coverage from USA Today-Wisconsin reporters 

Live coverage from WPR reporters


“Abuse thrives in isolation and in silence. It just gives up so much more power and so much more control to the abuser. And that’s what we’re really seeing here right now.”

Barb Fischer, executive director of Advocates of Ozaukee, speaking to WPR about growing concerns about domestic abuse during Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order.

Data to note

Our partners at WisContext offer a visual reminder of what it means to “flatten the curve.”

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:

She started jumping rope for laughs. Now she has a Facebook group with nearly 30,000 members.Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

Feel-good Friday: 8 small acts of kindness spotted in community, from handwritten notes with $100 to popcorn on front stepsGreen Bay Press-Gazette 

Teaming up for a good causeKenosha News 

Artist Mauricio Ramirez created this mural honoring front line workers and medical professionals on the corner of South Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue in Milwaukee. (Photo by Adam Carr/ Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service)

Adam Carr / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

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