Wisconsin sees record daily COVID-19 death toll while hospitals fill with patients — 9/30/20

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

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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Wednesday reported 27 new COVID-19 deaths, the highest daily death toll since the coronavirus began spreading in March. 

Wisconsin has now tallied 1,327 total deaths linked to the coronavirus, and it has become one the nation’s top virus hotspots in recent weeks. Eight Wisconsin metro areas remain on the New York Times Upshot’s list of worst outbreaks.

The outbreaks are filling up hospitals, leaving some patients waiting or needing to be transferred, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports

“Hospitals have been especially overwhelmed in Green Bay, Wausau and the Fox Valley, which are among the state’s latest COVID-19 hot spots,” report Mary Spicuzza, Madeline Heim, Renee Hickman and Meg Jones. 

“Officials at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, for example, said the facility was at 94% capacity as of Tuesday, just days before a Saturday campaign rally for President Donald Trump that could draw thousands of supporters to the city.”

Top Stories


Members of the Wisconsin National Guard collect samples from people in their vehicles at a free community testing site for COVID-19 at the Alliant Energy Center in May.

Some hospitals forced to wait-list or transfer patients as Wisconsin’s coronavirus surge continuesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Wisconsin officials warn of dire COVID-19 scenario as cases spike, flu season nearsCap Times 

Madison, Milwaukee teachers’ unions call for state order requiring virtual schoolCap Times 

State expects to address outdated unemployment system in next budgetWisconsin State Journal 

With COVID-19 cases spiking in Brown County, local officials call for caution ahead of Trump rally Saturday in Green BayGreen Bay Press-Gazette 

Boys & Girls Clubs closes 6 locations, forcing families to scramble for child careMilwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

IRS estimates more than 111K Wisconsinites might have not claimed coronavirus stimulus checksWPR 

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“What we have now in Wisconsin is a generalized epidemic. It’s safe to assume that the virus is everywhere. … We are in a crisis.”

— Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer with the state Department of Health Services, as quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal 

“Skip the play dates, the dinner parties, family get-togethers and work conferences or any other gatherings with people you don’t live with for the time being … I cannot stress this enough. No party, no bar, no gathering is worth it.”

— Gov. Tony Evers, as quoted by WPR 

Food access trouble?

We know that when classes are virtual, many Wisconsin students and families lose access to food schools provide. And as the school year starts, some meal sites are closing. Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media. Click here for details.

You can also view a list of Milwaukee-area food distribution sites for students here.

Data to note

Wisconsin continues to set daily records for COVID-19 hospitalizations as cases surge. Hospitals statewide reported 683 COVID-19 patients on Wednesday.

Here are the latest data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

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Evers, DHS announce initiative to address disproportionate impact of COVID-19WTMJ-TV

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