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The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ order to shut down much of public life to slow the spread of COVID-19, siding with Republican lawmakers who challenged the order in court.
Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the full details of the 4-3 ruling that thwarts Evers’ plans to address Wisconsin’s share of a pandemic that has upended life across the world.
Before the ruling Evers and DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm had extended the Safer at Home order to May 26, with plans to reopen parts of the economy in phases as health-related criteria were met. Republican lawmakers have not offered a plan of their own.
Wednesday’s ruling makes Evers’ order unenforceable, and it will force the Democrat to work with the Republican-led Legislature on a solution.
Nursing home data released
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Wednesday released the names of 38 nursing homes facing active COVID-19 investigations, following weeks of criticism — including from anxious family members of residents — for keeping that data secret.
In Wisconsin, just one case of a staff member or resident testing positive for COVID-19 triggers a facility-wide investigation of a nursing home. The department said it would update the nursing home data every Wednesday.
The data does not include nursing homes with fewer than 10 beds, nor does it include homes where investigations are closed.
The department said it had initiated 46 total nursing home investigations during the pandemic. It closes investigations 28 days after confirming the last positive case.
Residents of nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infections. Long-term care facilities, which include nursing homes and assisted living facilities, account for 6% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases and 43% of deaths during the pandemic, according to DHS.
“We have opted to publish the names of nursing homes in order to provide peace of mind to families who cannot visit or check on their loved ones during these unprecedented times,” DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said Wednesday in a statement.
A spokeswoman last month cited “privacy concerns” in explaining the department’s earlier policy of withholding the names, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Other top stories
In-person voting rises in Wisconsin’s 2nd pandemic election — Associated Press
Racial disparities heightened with COVID-19 crisis —The Cap Times
Few Madison retailers ready to reopen despite relaxed restrictions on shopping amid COVID-19 pandemic — Wisconsin State Journal
Sitting in a freezer for years, potential SARS vaccine now ready for trial on usefulness against coronavirus — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Live coverage from USA Today-Wisconsin reporters
Live coverage from Wisconsin State Journal reporters
More data to note
Green Bay ranks third among metro areas nationally in the daily average growth rate in COVID-19 deaths, according to tracking by The New York Times. The metro area saw 17 deaths over the last two weeks, with a 10% daily growth rate in deaths. Green Bay on Wednesday no longer appeared on the newspaper’s list of the 15 fastest-growing metro areas for confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Below is a statewide look at the latest testing data, visualized by our partners at WisContext. After seeing two straight days of fewer than 200 new confirmed cases of the virus, new cases jumped to 291 on Wednesday, with 6.5% of tests coming back positive, Wisconsin Department of Health Services data shows.
DHS reported three additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing total statewide deaths during the pandemic to 421.
Wisconsin has met five of the six “gating criteria” Gov. Tony Evers outlined under his earlier plan to reopen businesses in phases. Here is a look at those metrics.
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Parents promote teacher appreciation yard-side — Beloit Daily News
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