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More than 33,880 Wisconsin residents with physical disabilities and intellectual/developmental disabilities require some level of care or support. The coronavirus pandemic is upending their lives — worsening a chronic shortage of typically low-paid caregivers.
Today we highlight our investigation into how COVID-19 has exposed longstanding vulnerabilities in the system designed to aid Wisconsinites with disabilities. Bram Sable-Smith, the WPR fellow embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom, reports that clients and caregivers are facing tough decisions during the pandemic about how to keep each other safe during close interactions — if that’s even possible at a time when protective equipment runs scarce. And statewide momentum to loosen restrictions meant to manage the virus is adding to their anxiety.
Coronavirus exposes caregiver shortage, upending lives of Wisconsin’s disabled residents — Wisconsin Watch/WPR
Tony Evers announces COVID-19 rental assistance program — Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin Supreme Court order opened bars and restaurants, but an analysis shows only a 3% increase in total movement statewide — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription required)
Area police not enforcing Illinois governor’s order — Beloit Daily News
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Live coverage from USA Today-Wisconsin reporters
Live coverage from Wisconsin State Journal reporters
Data to note
Wisconsin saw a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday at a time when the state is significantly ramping up testing. The state Department of Health Services reported 528 new cases for the day, with 8% of tests coming back positive. DHS reported 14 additional deaths on Wednesday, pushing the total to 481 during the pandemic.
Here’s a look at the broader trends in COVID-19 diagnoses from our partners at WisContext.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘People are looking for love’: Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Oprah Winfrey gives $12 million for coronavirus relief to Milwaukee and other ‘home cities’ — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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