Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.
You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism.
Today we highlight our look inside of a busy Madison COVID-19 unit at a time when coronavirus infections and deaths continue to rise in Wisconsin.
Bram Sable-Smith, a WPR fellow embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom — and WPR photojournalist Angela Major — reported from inside a University Hospital COVID unit on Tuesday — a day when the Department of Health Services reported a record 92 additional deaths from the virus in Wisconsin and 89% of the state’s hospital beds were full.
Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers on Friday declared a new 60-day public health emergency and renewed his statewide mask mandate. The move comes as the Wisconsin Supreme Court weighs the legality of Evers’ previous public health emergency declaration, which was set to expire on Saturday.
“Wisconsin hospitals are overwhelmed and facing staffing shortages,” Evers said in a statement. “We continue to see record-setting days of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. We need everyone to stay home and wear a mask if you have to go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together.”
DHS reported 78 additional statewide COVID-19 deaths on Friday, pushing Wisconsin’s pandemic death toll to 2,954 since March.
Illness, stress fill a COVID-19 unit as Wisconsin leaders stalemate — Wisconsin Watch/WPR
A medical examiner fought to prepare her county for the virus. Then it struck. — The New York Times
Gov. Tony Evers, Republican leaders to meet Friday to discuss COVID-19 response measures — Wisconsin State Journal
Opinion: Game plan for battling COVID-19 in Wisconsin must consider risks from youth sports — Appleton Post-Crescent
Data to note
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin’s trends in COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations.
Calculate your exposure risk
In Wisconsin, even small gatherings this holiday season can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teacher union recertification challenged by COVID-19 pandemic, but participation hasn’t dropped — Wisconsin State Journal
Where to find free meals this Thanksgiving and how you can support those in need — Milwaukee Neighborhood New Service