Stories of lives lost as Wisconsin eclipses 3,000 COVID-19 deaths — 11/23/20

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

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Wisconsin reached 1,000 reported COVID-19 deaths in August — nearly five months into the pandemic. The death toll eclipsed 2,000 by Oct. 31. And by Saturday, just three weeks later, more than 3,000 Wisconsinites were reported dead. 

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a well-respected data modeling group, projects Wisconsin will surpass 5,100 COVID-19 deaths by Christmas without major changes to behavior. 

Today we highlight a Wisconsin State Journal story about six of those lives lost in the Madison area. Among them: “a father of teenagers, two memorable moms, a doctor, an entrepreneur, a jokester,” reports David Wahlberg. 

“So many people are afraid to not spend this holiday with their loved ones,” said Kate Dale, a Fitchburg woman who lost her 73-year-old mother to COVID-19, according to Wahlberg. “Well, we will never spend another holiday with our mother. One year of sacrifice for people is worth it because you don’t want to not have another one with them.” 

Top Stories

Angela Major / WPR

Lake Mills High School on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.

3,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Wisconsin. Here are stories of 6 lives lost. Wisconsin State Journal 

Mayo clinic puts hospital beds in parking garage, lobbies as COVID-19 surges WPR 

Conservative legal group sues Dane County over ban on private gatherings Wisconsin State Journal 

As Wisconsin teachers’ unions call for statewide shutdown criteria, Evers doubles down on local control WPR 

‘What he is doing is outrageous’: Doctors slam Sen. Ron Johnson over hearing on COVID-19 treatments Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Capital City Sunday: Speaker Vos, Gov. Evers on hospitalizations, contact tracing and inaction on COVID-19 relief WKOW 

Madison police and fire scramble to fill shifts for staff sidelined by pandemic Wisconsin State Journal 

Wisconsin National Guard making history with COVID-19 deployment The Journal Times 

‘We are failing’: Spike in Marathon County COVID-19 cases leads to heavy death toll Wausau Daily Herald

Local homeless shelters face COVID-era complexities this winter Janesville Gazette 

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“Outside our hospitals, we still see big gatherings with no masks. We hear about Thanksgiving dinner plans that will send even more people to our already very full COVID-19 units — units full of patients who might not survive a fight with this virus. Wisconsin is in a bad place right now with no sign of things getting better without action. We are, quite simply, out of time. Without immediate change, our hospitals will be too full to treat all of those with the virus and those with other illnesses or injuries.”

— An open letter to the people of Wisconsin signed by hundreds of doctors and public health experts with UW Health

“I keep telling people on both sides: We have a terrible enemy. It’s called COVID-19. It’s destroying our way of life, destroying businesses, economies. It’s preventing young kids from going to school. … Let’s come together and fight the hell out of this thing.”

— Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is currently interim president of the University of Wisconsin System, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 data. Trends appear to be more promising in recent days, following weeks of record-breaking 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

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:

Local school districts adapt to staffing amid coronavirus pandemic WLUK 

Near perfect weather and COVID-19 bolsters the opening of deer season Wisconsin State Journal 

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