Fighting disease and loneliness in a COVID-19 ward — 12/1/20

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

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Today we highlight an Appleton Post-Crescent story that examines the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of Katie Harris, a Fox Valley nurse who has “seen patients’ conditions worsen rapidly, from feeling fine in the morning to needing to be rushed to the ICU and placed on a ventilator in the afternoon.”

“Dealing with multiple patients with respiratory issues, physically taxing as it might be, isn’t new to nurses, and isn’t the hardest part for Harris,” Madeline Heim, a former Wisconsin Watch intern who reports for the Post-Crescent. “What’s hard is that she’s now a stand-in family member for each of them, too, as hospitals’ visitor restrictions to prevent further spread of the virus often leave patients to fight the disease alone.”

The story comes as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Tuesday reported a record 107 new deaths, bringing the state’s total pandemic death toll to 3,420.

Top Stories

Angela Major / WPR

Healthcare workers pass through the hallway of a COVID-19 unit Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, at UW Hospital.

‘Am I dying?’: Wisconsin nurse describes acting as family to COVID-19 patients who worry and suffer alone Appleton Post-Crescent 

For first time in months, Wisconsin’s COVID-19 cases are declining. Experts say it may not last. — WPR 

Judge, citing possible ‘scarlet letter’ for firms, allows suit over COVID data to continue Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

DOC to close section of Waupun prison to reduce inmate population Fond du Lac Reporter 

Study: Students falling behind in math during pandemic Associated Press 

City still enforcing school closures under Safer Racine ordinance, despite Supreme Court pausing similar order The Journal Times 

‘No two days are ever the same’: COVID-19 ‘magnified’ the struggle to find substitute teachers in the Milwaukee area Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Here’s what we know about the Big Ten football title game amid COVID-19 issues Wisconsin State Journal 

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“Our action to provide emergency relief is needed now more than ever before. The people need to know we are not going to leave until we get something accomplished.”

— U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, as bipartisan lawmakers unveiled a federal stimulus proposal on Tuesday, as quoted by The Washington Post

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. 

Additionally, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has surpassed 5,000 recorded COVID-19 infections on and off campus since campus testing began in August, the university’s dashboard showed Tuesday.

Calculate your exposure risk

In Wisconsin, even small gatherings 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:

Research inspired by COVID-19: UW Hygiene lab uses wastewater samples to detect trends The Cap Times 

Wisconsin restaurants that follow federal, state and local guidelines highlighted in 'Ready to Serve Safely' campaign Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Update may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing,

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