Cell phone data suggests some Wisconsinites are getting antsy at home — 4/29/20

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

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Gov. Tony Evers and public health experts have largely praised Wisconsinites for staying at home and otherwise social distancing in a weeks-long effort to flatten the coronavirus curve and keep pressure off of health systems. With Evers’ Safer at Home order still in place, we highlight WisContext’s data-rich dive into whether residents are beginning to change their behavior. Citing smartphone tracking data, Will Cushman reports that Wisconsinites’ adherence to the order is “beginning to erode.” 

“A small but rising number of Wisconsinites are growing so weary of pandemic-driven changes to their lives that they’re reverting to prior routines,” Cuishman reports.

Top Stories

Kristian Knutsen / WisContext

Governor Nelson State Park in Dane County was one of dozens of state parks in Wisconsin ordered closed on April 9 due to overcrowding and other issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Most state parks were ordered to reopen on May 1 with reduced capacity limits, distancing requirements and other changes in place. This photo from April 29 shows a sign at a park entrance noting the closure.

How close are Wisconsinites sticking to home as the COVID-19 crisis continues?WisContext 

When Wisconsin’s safe at home order might end, how the state might reopen and answers to other questions Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Evers administration orders immediate 5% reduction in state spendingWisconsin State Journal 

COVID-19 crisis intensifies at Wisconsin food plants: 1 dead, 100 more test positiveMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

In-person voting didn’t lead to spike in COVID-19, but concerns remainMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Coronavirus outbreaks at Wisconsin meatpacking plants: Is the meat safe to eat?WPR 

Wisconsin colleges weigh how to reopen campuses in fall amid COVID-19 uncertaintyWisconsin State Journal 

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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


“I feel like I need to hear more people say that it’s OK to not be operating at 100%. Many people were forced to readjust their work environment, change their housing situation and deal with difficult family issues in a very short period of time. However, I haven’t heard many ‘It’s OK to take some time to adjust’ or ‘There’s no such thing as operating at 100% during a pandemic.’”

Stephanie Mercado, neighborhood revitalization coordinator at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers in Milwaukee, as told to Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Data to note

Green Bay is the nation’s second fastest-growing metro area for COVID-19, with cases doubling every 2.9 days, according to data the New York Times is tracking. Brown County recorded 971 COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths as of Wednesday, according to state figures. Hundreds of cases are tied to meatpacking plants. 

We also draw your attention to WisContext’s county-by-county look at how many people are staying home during Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order.

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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.

Ruthie Hauge / Cap Times

The marquee at the Bartell Theatre at 113 E. Mifflin St., a home for several community theater companies, bears a message of goodwill until live theater can resume.

Closed by coronavirus, Madison’s performing arts adapt The Cap Times 

‘Staff are tired, worn out’: Stevens Point nurse answers desperate call for help with COVID-19 in New York CityStevens Point Journal 

Coronavirus changes Muslims’ approach to Ramadan, Islam’s time for family bonding and reflectionGreen Bay Press-Gazette 

Members of local Jewish community churning out masks from homeWisconsin Jewish Chronicle

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