Report: Milwaukee paused COVID inspections following harassment at Trump rally — 12/29/20

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

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Today we highlight a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story detailing threats to Milwaukee Health Department inspectors during the pandemic.

The department halted evening and weekend inspections for COVID-19 violations for weeks after supporters of President Donald Trump pushed and harassed inspectors at a mid-November rally, Alison Dirr reports. 

“The inspectors came to the event at Serb Hall to enforce the city’s COVID-19 health order aimed at stemming the spread of the virus,” Dirr reports. “About 500 Trump supporters were present, surpassing the 100-person maximum allowed under the city’s order, and they were not wearing masks, social distancing or staying in their seats, the city said previously. Health Department staffers later received a death threat and faced online ‘doxxing’ over enforcement of the orders.”

Top Stories

Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Trump supporters hold signs at a rally for President Donald Trump at American Serb Hall on West Oklahoma Avenue in Milwaukee on Nov. 7.

A shove and a death threat. How the Serb Hall incident set back COVID-19 inspections in Milwaukee — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Wisconsin Republicans break with Trump on $2,000 stimulus checks — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Amid the pandemic, Wisconsin port adapted as tonnage dropped in some places, others saw positives — WPR 

Should pregnant and breastfeeding women get vaccinated? When will we know more about children? — WPR 

Milwaukee homeowners ‘astounded’ by property tax increases amid COVID — Fox6 

Wisconsin COVID-19 vaccination begins in high-risk setting: nursing homes — Wisconsin State Journal 

Evers administration plans to simplify unemployment claims — Associated Press 

State capitols face showdown over COVID powers and spending — Associated Press

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“It’s the perfect storm. …We’re seeing isolation, loneliness, depression. Combine that with an underlying substance abuse problem, and now you have all the right combinations for death.”

Dr. Selahattin Kurter, executive director of West Grove Clinic, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about record-breaking numbers of overdose deaths in the Milwaukee area

Data to note

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has unveiled a new dashboard showing the state’s progress in distributing vaccines. 

Here is a snapshot of Tuesday’s data.

Additionally, WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 statistics. New documented COVID-19 infections and test-positivity rates have continued to decline from a pre-Thanksgiving peak. The state is also seeing fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized since mid-November, now hovering at mid-October levels.

DHS on Tuesday reported a seven-day average of 34 new COVID-19 deaths each day. Wisconsin’s total pandemic death toll is 4,783, according to DHS data.

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:

‘Stronger together’: Douglas County partners seek to transform mental health crisis response — WPR

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