Wisconsin tops 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day, surpassing its neighbors — 7/21/20

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

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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 1,117 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 7.7% of tests returning positive.

The state cleared the 1,000-case mark for the first time during the pandemic, and it set a daily record for the sixth time since July 9. 

DHS Secretary Andrea Palm last week attributed the surge to “significant community spread” — not more testing. And interim state health officer Stephanie Smiley on Tuesday urged residents to slow the virus’ spread through behavioral changes. 

“We believe it’s the duty of people to protect themselves and protect others by physically distancing and wearing a mask,” Smiley said, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent. “We certainly want people to make those choices.”

Wisconsin recorded more cases Tuesday than its neighboring states, reporter Madeline Heim noted — eclipsing Illinois (955), Minnesota (352), Iowa (512) and Michigan (573).

DHS reported 13 additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, pushing the state’s total to 859. 

Top Stories

Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Mariah Clark, emergency room nurse and a subject of WPR and Wisconsin Watch’s Outbreak Wisconsin series, is seen in the library of her home in Madison, Wis., on July 17, 2020.

As Wisconsin breaks 1,000 new cases reported in a single day, state health officer implores residents to stop gathering, wear masksAppleton Post-Crescent 

‘Conflict of emotions’: ER nurse reflects on death, mourning and rites of passage in the COVID eraWisconsin Watch/WPR 

Actual Covid-19 case count could be 6 to 24 times higher than official estimates, CDC study showsSTAT

Federal suit over local Wisconsin COVID-19 orders dismissedAssociated Press 

In a race for COVID treatment, hydroxychloroquine often went to poorly designed trials that may have put patients at greater riskMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Bipartisan group to promote in-person and mail-in voting during pandemicWPR 

Brown County committee to discuss possible mask ordinance: What you need to knowGreen Bay Press Gazette 

DOC completes COVID-19 testing for all inmates, staff in Wisconsin prison systemWisconsin 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

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“We have a real vacuum of leadership at the national level … Absent a national strategy, our best hope is to get all 50 states on the same page, so we know where we are.”

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as quoted by The New York Times, calling for state to report more uniform COVID-19 data

Data to note

Wisconsin has the second-fewest COVID-19 restrictions in the country, behind only South Dakota, according to a study released Tuesday by WalletHub.

“Our data set ranges from whether child-care programs and restaurants have reopened to whether the state has required face masks in public and workplace temperature screenings,” the study said. 

The Wisconsin Supreme Court in May struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ previous Safer at Home order, leading to a small patchwork of local regulations — including many that have faced legal scrutiny. More than two months later, the Republican-controlled Legislature has not enacted an alternative pandemic plan as cases surge.

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

Resilient Wisconsin

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.

How one program treats trauma in students while keeping them in schoolMilwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

Wisconsin diners are using Facebook groups to rate restaurants by how well they’re following COVID-19 health guidelinesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel

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