Pandemic casts shadow over Wisconsin’s vote — 11/4/20

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

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Today we highlight our coverage of yesterday’s high-stakes presidential race during a worsening pandemic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden pulled ahead by a razor thin margin in Wisconsin on Wednesday as elections officials finished tallying ballots — including nearly 2 million ballots already cast by residents who sought to avoid busy polls on Election Day to limit the risk of coronavirus exposure. 

The pandemic cast a shadow over voting as state health officials reported a record 5,771 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and another 52 deaths.  And as voters gathered at the polls, Wisconsinites elsewhere lined up to be tested for the disease. Wait times for free testing the Alliant Energy Center in Madison eclipsed three hours early Tuesday afternoon.

Cases and deaths climbed even higher on Wednesday, with 5,935 newly reported infections and 54 deaths, according to the Department of Health Services. Wisconsin’s total pandemic death toll now sits at 2,156.

Top Stories

Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Juliaanne and George Warren check in to their polling place at the Eagle Heights Community Center in Madison, Wis., on the day of the November 3, 2020 election.

Braving a pandemic, Wisconsinites vote for president — and the future of the nation Wisconsin Watch

Scenes and dispatches as Wisconsin went to the polls on Nov. 3 Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin votes: Portraits from the polls Wisconsin Watch  

Pandemic is top election issue for Wisconsin voters; majority say country heading in wrong direction Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

At least 13 residences near UW-Madison violated public health orders over Halloween weekend Wisconsin State Journal 

Cold comfort: With winter on its way, Madison restaurants scramble to stay alive Cap Times 

As analysis of COVID-19 outbreak continues, Barry Alvarez says UW is ‘trying to figure out how we can improve’ Wisconsin State Journal 

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to a trend that began in the mid-1970s: The economy has produced too many low wage jobs Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Twenty-seventh Appleton resident dies of COVID-19 Appleton Post-Crescent 

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“In late October, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections finally disclosed the number of COVID-19 deaths among people incarcerated in state prisons. That’s good news. But it’s troubling that this disclosure, which revealed that at least five state inmates have died, came only after months of delaying, obfuscating and covering up,

— Gretchen Schuldt, executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative, in a column

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

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin’s startling trends in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

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