As holidays loom, Wisconsin gatherings bring high risk of COVID-19 exposure. Use this tool to calculate risk in your county — 11/16/20

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

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 In Wisconsin, even small gatherings this holiday season can carry a big risk of contracting coronavirus, according to a new nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and where it is held. WPR’s Rob Mentzer found that in Marathon County, for example, there is a 97% chance that a gathering of 50 people would include at least one person with COVID-19. “It’s a way of empowering people to make decisions that are informed by data, and start to think about what levels of risk are acceptable to them,” said Mallory Harris, a Stanford University doctoral student who worked on the project.

Top Stories

Amber Arnold / State Journal

Nursing assistant Monica Brodsky hands a funnel and vial to Janet Legare, of Middleton, for a new saliva test for COVID-19 on Monday at the UW Health administrative office building in Middleton. The “spit test” is being used for patients who are asymptomatic and need to be screened before an operation or procedure, and produces results in hours.

Tool shows Wisconsin gatherings mean high risk of COVID-19 exposure WPR 

Wisconsin Supreme Court hears arguments as it decides fate of Evers’ COVID-19 policies Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

2nd virus vaccine shows striking success in US tests Associated Press 

Wis. DHS doctors meet to begin forming guidance on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines once available WTMJ-TV 

Rural hospitals having difficulty finding beds for COVID-19 patients WPR 

Rock County reinstates Phase One COVID-19 restrictions as cases rise Wisconsin State Journal

Different virus responses The New York Times (The Morning newsletter)

Midwest schools scramble as COVID-19 surge sweeps region Lee Enterprises  

Kaukauna fire chief says COVID-19 uptick causing ‘strain’ and ‘delayed responses,’ department urging residents to help slow the spread WFRV-TV 

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“I agree with Governor Evers that our success in fighting the virus rests on individual responsibility. Once again, I encourage everyone to adhere to CDC guidelines: wear a mask, socially distance, frequently wash your hands, follow local restrictions and stay home as much as possible.”

— Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, in a newsletter to constituents 

“Let’s tell our leaders to get together virtually and do their jobs. This virus is called the novel coronavirus for a reason. This is uncharted territory. We are learning more about it every day, and we need to be flexible and adaptable. Don’t forget about the frontline workers and health care heroes. The best way to show support is by wearing a mask and hunkering down.”

— Ani Weaver, of Dodgeville, a registered nurse who works in Madison, writing for the Wisconsin State Journal

Data to note

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

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:

‘Unprecedented’ pace of COVID-19 drug development pushing Madison companies to expand Wisconsin State Journal 

MMSD more than triples weekly food distribution from spring with more sites, bus delivery Cap Times

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