Wisconsin GOP lawmakers sue to block Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order — 4/21/20

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

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Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled Legislature is asking the state Supreme Court to block Gov. Tony Evers’ order to keep schools and nonessential businesses closed through May 26 during the coronavirus pandemic. The Wisconsin State Journal has the story of Tuesday’s lawsuit, which comes one day after Evers unveiled his “Badger Bounceback” plan to reopen the state in phases if certain criteria are met.

We also highlight the growing impact from our reporting on Wisconsin hospitals that sued patients over medical debt during the public health emergency. Bram Sable-Smith, a WPR reporter based in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom, reports that more cases have been dismissed since we began digging into the issue. 

Top stories

Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Voters in line to vote at Riverside High School in Milwaukee for voting on April 7, 2020, after courts ordered Wisconsin to move ahead with in-person voting in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican Legislature asks Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend Safer at Home orderWisconsin State Journal

‘Wait until I call my mom’: Reprieve for some Wisconsinites who faced medical debt during pandemicWPR/Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin regulators warn debt collectors to back off during pandemicWPR/Wisconsin Watch

‘They should have done something’: Broad failures fueled Wisconsin’s absentee ballot crisis, investigation showsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

At least 7 new coronavirus cases appear to be related to Wisconsin’s election, Milwaukee health commissioner saysMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

After doctor’s concern, Meriter Hospital, with UW Health, will test all pregnant women in labor for COVID-19The Cap Times

Green Bay plant sees outbreak as states work to keep meatpacking facilities open amid COVID-19 pandemicAssociated Press

Wisconsin Farm groups say new federal aid will help, not solve COVID-19 problemsWPR

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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 Wisconsin State Journal reporters


“This virus is going to look like positive test results and death tolls. It will. But don’t think it has to get to that to shake up your life entirely, for you to take this seriously, and make plans you don’t know how to make, and never thought you’d need to,” 

Olivia Herken, local government reporter at the La Crosse Tribune, writing a first-person column for the newspaper.

Data to note

From our partners at WisContext:

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.

Feeling restless inside? Get out and play Social Distancing Block Bingo.Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

For black women and their businesses, help and networking move onlineThe Cap Times 


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