Counting COVID-19 deaths isn’t easy. But the stakes are high — 6/12/20

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

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Something peculiar happened on June 8: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services lowered the state’s official death toll by one. 

A routine error caused an initial error, but the correction “illustrates one of the many difficulties health officials in Wisconsin and elsewhere face as they track and report information about the lethal impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Will Cushman reports for WisContext.

Top Stories

John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

Carryout orders are served through an opening in the plywood-covered facade of Himal Chuli on State Street in Madison. Many State Street businesses say they won’t reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic and recent vandalism.

Detecting COVID-19 deaths in WisconsinWisContext

American Indian tribes thwarted in efforts to get coronavirus dataPolitico

Emails reveal chaos as meatpacking companies fought health agencies over COVID-19 outbreaks in their plantsProPublica 

Milwaukee County implements ‘universal face mask policy’ as COVID-19 cases riseMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

What you can do to be safer when you go out to Wisconsin restaurants during the coronavirus pandemicMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Milwaukee gets $5.7 million to fight eviction amid coronavirus pandemicWTMJ-TV 

Beloit demographics, outbreaks contribute to city’s high COVID-19 case countBeloit Daily News

Dane County moves to Phase 2 of COVID-19 order Monday, further expanding businessesWisconsin 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


“We don’t vaccinate to protect ourselves, we vaccinate to protect others and those who can’t.. .It’s a lot of the parallels that we’re seeing in the COVID fight — you know, we don’t wear masks necessarily to protect ourselves, but it’s to protect from the transmission of the virus to others.”

Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, as quoted by WPR.

Data to note

The Oshkosh-Neenah metro area is now on The New York Times’ list of fastest-growing COVID-19 hotspots. With 258 recent cases and totals doubling every 10.8 days, Oshkosh-Neenah was behind just five other United States metro areas in the category of “highest average daily growth rate.” 

“Growth rates are useful measures in epidemics because they tell us whether things are getting better or worse,” the Times reports. “In places where the growth rate is high but the number of cases is relatively low, a community may still have time to flatten its curve before an outbreak becomes widespread.”

A City of Oshkosh press release Thursday said the Winnebago County Health Department partially attributed the virus spike to a “lack of physical distancing at large gatherings and bars and restaurants that have opened since the end of ‘Safer at Home.’”

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Spread love, not viruses: Beloiter makes masks for hundredsBeloit Daily News

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