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Wisconsin’s economically crippling shutdown to slow coronavirus might seem unprecedented, but it’s not. Today we highlight a story from Wisconsin Watch investigations editor Jim Malewitz about what the state can learn from its response to the misnamed “Spanish flu” pandemic of 1918. Wisconsin limited deaths through statewide stay-at-home measures a century ago, although some cities, including Oshkosh and Neenah, reopened early — with deadly results. More than 8,400 Wisconsinites died in the 1918 pandemic, which killed roughly 675,000 across the United States.
We also spotlight a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the benchmarks Gov. Tony Evers says Wisconsin must meet before gradually reopening the economy. Some are still unclear.
Wisconsin’s pandemic past offers clues to its coronavirus future — Wisconsin Watch
Brown County coronavirus cases surge past 800 as OSHA investigates more facilities — Green Bay Press-Gazette
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Data to note
Gov. Tony Evers last week announced a program to reopen the economy in phases if certain criteria are met. Here is a look at four areas where Evers says progress is needed, alongside improvements in testing and contact tracing (As you can see, Evers has yet to announce criteria related to hospital capacity.)
And here is a look, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at the state’s progress toward the third goal listed: to have a downward trajectory over 14 days in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests. The trend is slightly increasing.
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From our partners at the Wisconsin State Journal:
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Unable to enter his residence due to ongoing coronavirus precautions, family members and friends of Donald Harrop celebrate his 103rd birthday through a closed doorway at the Milestone Senior Living Center in Cross Plains, Wis. Friday, April 24, 2020. Born in 1917, Harrop has now lived through two pandemics, the Spanish Flu of 1918, and the current COVID-19 crisis. Speaking to him through mobile phones are his granddaughter Tina Klimke and his great-granddaughter, Taylor Ziegler. Photo by staff photographer @johnhartphotography . #wilife #wisconsin #covidwi #covid19 #covid19wisconsin #quarantine #family #wistatejournal #assistedliving #crossplains #seniorliving #alonetogether
A post shared by Wisconsin State Journal (@wistatejournal) on Apr 25, 2020 at 8:40am PDT
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